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About Nicola

nicola henshaw wood carver

Nicola Henshaw is a sculptor with an established practice of more than 20 years, making functional and decorative art for interiors and the outdoors. Her work is an intriguing combination of the real and the imagined, with inspiration drawn from storytelling and traditional narrative form. Each unique piece of her work evokes a powerful sense of place through its appropriate use of material and subject matter.

Using traditional techniques to produce domestic furniture as well as site-specific pieces for public and private clients, Nicola works with green and seasoned timber, often incorporating forged, etched, cast and fabricated metal. Her publicly funded work usually involves collaboration through the project based community art workshops she runs. Nicola’s narrative themes often draw on the local history and folklore that surrounds a project site. These storytelling themes, combined with fluid curves and simple shapes create a style of work, which is instantly recognizable.

Nicola studied Three Dimensional Design at Wolverhampton University, specializing in wood. She received a Crafts Council Grant to set up a studio at 401 Workshops in London, where she practiced for 14 years, alongside 35 artists and makers. In 2003, she moved to the New Forest, Hampshire and received European funding to help build a new studio. Nicola works with locally sourced timber, producing pieces in a range of scales to commission and speculatively for galleries. Her work is highly regarded internationally and has been commissioned by a wide range of private, corporate and public clients, including Iwatya in Japan, Himatsingka Siede in India, Freehand in USA, The Forestry Commission, The National Trust, Hampshire, Essex, Yorkshire, Dorset and South Lanarkshire County Councils.

Nicola has been working closely with a group of artist makers as part of 5AM (an invitational craft excellence collective) since March 2011. The group includes textile artist Alice Kettle and metalworker Syann Van Niftrik, an initiative instigated by Hampshire County Council’s Arts Office under the mentorship of Mark Segal (former Director of Artsway and now independent arts curator). This has encouraged shared expertise with collaborative working, developing the cross material practice of recognized and established artist makers.

Avonbourne School, Bournemouth - Print workshops based on Earth Charter to inspire 3 oak benches
Nature of Art in Wessex project - Commuinity workshops, creating fabric bunting and inspiring waymarkers
Royal Victoria Country Park - Community workshops inspiring 10 sculptures for pond dipping area
Ichen Valley Park - A bench and 4 animal themed totem poles
National Trust Northumberland - Owl bench and Butterfly bench
Emmaus Hampshire - Bench using the Emmaus Logo
Reptile Centre, New Forest - bird and reptile themed totem pole
Rhinefield House Hotel, Brockenhurst - Commemorative Waymarker to celebrate opening of new hotel wing
Ryewater Nursery, Sherborne, Dorset - Curved 6 seater Owl and Moth bench for a butterfly sanctuary
Minstead Study Centre, Hants - interactive panel illustrating energy sources incorporating a digital display
Walford Mill Gallery, Wimborne, Dorset - memorial 3d Gallery sign
Minstead Study Centre, Hants - 8 relief oak panels illustrating stories from around the world

Wood Art today 2 – Schiffer 2010
Wood Art today – Schiffer 2004
Woodcarving – Sterling Publishing – 1999
400 Wooden boxes – Lark books 2004
The Craft of woodcarving – Cassels 1994
Buyers Guide to wood – Crafts Council 2001
Decorative Boxes – Letts 1993
New Crafts – wood craft – Lorenz Books 1999
Country Craft Compendium – Conran Octopus 1993

Crafts Council setting up Grant
British Council Sponsorship for Zimbabwe school project
Art At Work award for Bishops Stortford Library commission
Member of Contemporary Applied Arts
European funding to support rural business

Medici Gallery, Piccadilly May 1998
Medici Gallery, Piccadilly May 1997
Virginia Breier Gallery, San Francisco Oct 2001
Medici Gallery, Piccadilly May 1996
The Garden Gallery, Broughton Summer Show 2008, 2009, 2011
Courcoux & Courcoux, Stockbridge Summer Show 2005-2011
Courcoux & Courcoux, Stockbridge Christmas exhibition 2004-2012

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