Nichola Hope

"I draw from live performances and have worked with the Welsh National Opera since 2005 to producing works that capture the moment and energy of the moving characters on stage. I also work in portrait, creating drawings and paintings that explore the real and imagined sitter. My silhouette drawings are site specific and installation based. The works are cut from paper and fabric and suspended in space to create a drawing hangs between the three and two dimensional. The silhouette drawing is an extension from the works on paper, examining the line and subject spatially. The work departs from the paper surface and hovers between drawing and theatrical set. The drawing has developed organically, but is dictated by both the linear grid and the space that it is contained within. The Book of the Unreal is a personal ongoing project. This is a series of drawings that form a book of imaginary drawings. Animals are humanised and humans take on animalistic behaviours and characteristics. I also plan to create some animated drawings using The Book of the Unreal as a image source." The Hope sister’s have been creating drawings at the Welsh National Opera since late 2005. Working directly from life, within the hubbub and flurry of live rehearsal, numerous drawings are made. The drawings are ‘live’, of that moment, they reflect the ‘voice’ of the scene and production. The artists honed their skills at the Prince’s Drawing School, London where they observed in all their subtle variation, gestured and animate forms that gave rise to multiple figure inventions. It was an opportunity to examine a broad repertory of moving figures (dancers, acrobats, wrestlers and actors). The sisters have exhibited extensively across England, Ireland and Wales. Exhibitions have included Wales Portrait Award 1 and 2, The Jerwood Drawing Prize and The National Eisteddfod. This engagement with the theatrical has led to work with the Monte Carlo Opera, Melbourne Opera, National Theatre of Wales, The Laban and No Fit State Circus. Elements of theatricality link the works of Nichola Hope and Sarah Hope. In the works, theatricality comes from the subject through the use of composition, gesture, costume and props. Masquerade costume and performance all become elements of identity. On another level, the artist engages with the role of performer through the means in which the figure is represented in an imaginary space. To draw is to see. Drawing encompasses time. Drawing contains the experience of looking and offers up another view of time. The opera drawings draw on a multitude of moments, they invite us to stop and enter their sense of time. Captured in a static image, the scenes are unfolded, emotions are expressed and memories extracted. The theatrical artwork acknowledges reality, it allows the viewer to engage with the art form but on another level it involves the representation of things that could never otherwise be perceived. There is a coexistence of fact and fiction. In the works, theatricality comes from the subject through the use of composition, gesture, costume and props. Masquerade costume and performance all become elements of identity. On another level, the artist engages with the role of perfomer through the means in which the figure is represented in an imaginary space. Their work with the Welsh National Opera has produced a rich, visual documentation of the opera company's history. The works on display are just some of the hundreds of drawings that have been produced during this five year period. read full statement

Location Cardiff, Wales
Website http://www.nicholahope.com