Nicola Tingey is an artist and designer who is obsessed with three things: colour, texture and technique.
Her paintings and textile pieces are formed by layer upon layer of applied processes and mediums such as oil pastel, chalk, mono printing, stitch and acrylic paint.
The result is something she describes as “a conversation”. These conversations appear as loud or gentle visual words that react to each other according to the mood of the piece.
Her works are a linking of the inner and outer worlds she inhabits.
Nicola arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in 2013 to start her new job as a secondary art teacher at the British International School. She fell in love with the vibrant culture, colours and sounds.
The amazing sensory experience of living in a new and exciting country soon began to fuel her creative ideas and the paintings flowed forth.
She began to explore ways to gain an audience through Instagram and was soon selling work.
After a few years of selling paintings and products all over the world from her home studio she is embarking on a Vietnam solo show at Soma Arts Cafe from January 5 to 23.
“Linh at Soma was incredibly positive about my work and allowed me to create an exhibition in the way that suited my preferences. We had a meeting and threw ideas together. They were very easy decisions and we agreed on everything,” Nicola said.
“Over the last few years I have become much more confident in managing as much of my creative output as possible and to give that up is very hard. I like to design every aspect of a show, from the music to the posters.”
Nicola studied art at Goldsmiths College, London.
“I was a young art student struggling with fitting in to the pigeonholes that university wanted me to. Even then I was stitching and painting simultaneously. My tutors didn’t really allow me to fully explore that and we were always clashing against each other. If I could do that over again I’d be a lot more forceful about my direction. It has taken me a long time to find a voice. It is mainly through the audience and community of Instagram that I have begun to come out of my studio and talk to people like Linh.”
It was during her own school years that Nicola became interested in becoming an artist. A supportive and inspirational teacher saw she had skill and potential and encouraged her to apply for art college.
This same teacher exposed her to great abstract artists such as Mark Rothko, that fuelled her curiosity and interest in the mark making and colour techniques of the great abstract expressionist. Her work is also influenced by contemporary abstract expressionism, particularly the global movement of female abstract painters.