Nicholas Vaughan is a visual artist with a varied practice from sculpture to drawing and installations, often developing fictional texts to illustrate his artwork. After receiving his degree in Sculpture from Wolverhampton University (2001) he moved to London where he completed an MA in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and Design (2002). His work has been shown in shows throughout Europe, including at The Corner House Gallery in Manchester and Imperial College in London as well as at Gliwice Museum in Poland. He is currently based in Wakefield.
His art practice is an exploration of social issues with a particular interest in communities, how they are represented and what that says about the culture they are part of. The projects Nicholas develops explore themes of cultural heritage, identity, personal memory, subversive systems, and social change (imposed or self-created). With the combination of these subjects, the artist’s aim is to make work that questions social and political issues in a language that speaks to the audience and makes them connect, rethink, or question their own concepts, drawing from their own sense of self in the environment they inhabit.
Although heavily based in the visual arts, his projects always encompass several layers, from written work to talks with the artist, with invited speakers, to creative workshops. Nicholas believes that art should play to all the audiences’ senses, and this does not have to be restricted to one space or time but rather extend itself, creating a greater reach and providing an in-depth experience to those taking part. Like the pieces of a puzzle, people can engage with one, several or all elements of his projects. Each element will have enough weight to be seen as a stand-alone piece, but the more pieces you gather the fuller the picture you get. Nicholas Vaughan’s artwork creates the fulcrum in which all the other parts gather.
In September ‘17 he held a solo exhibition, Nerve War, at the Museum of Gliwice, in Poland. It concluded a year of R&D, and a two weeks residency at Kronika, a gallery for contemporary art in Bytom. It combined a series of matchstick sculptures, drawings, text, and an installation. The drawings used the work Sociological Record by photographer Zofia Rydet as a starting point with one of the drawings now in the museum’s permanent collection.
In 2013 the artist used an album inherited from his Polish grandfather as inspiration for a series of drawings, first shown at the Polish Social and Cultural Association in London. In 2014 these were combined with a fictional text Nicholas wrote and presented over a one week show at the Hundred Years Gallery, a dynamic art space in Hoxton. In 2016 the drawings and text were made into a self-published book entitled Matchbox Brothers launched at The Exchange, an artist-led project in Brunswick East.
In 2012, mixed-media series of work Media Puppets was first shown at ‘Made in Greenwich’ gallery. The work was nominated for the Clapham Art Prize 2014 and taken to Bath Arts Fringe. In 2015 it showed in Out of the Box at the No Format gallery and at the Story so Far, an exhibition at W3 Gallery, organised by Ealing Arts Forum.
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS AND PROJECTS:
2018 SNAPArts and The Chantry Chapel, work shown across two locations in Wakefield – ‘Clinker, 1984-85’
2017 Czytelnia Sztuki at Gliwice Museum – Solo show and residency ‘Nerve War/Wojna Nerwów’
2016 The Exchange, London – Book Launch ‘Matchbox Brothers’
2013 The POSK Gallery, London – Solo show ‘Plight of the Citizens’
2006 The Maeldune Centre, Maldon – Solo Show
2019 Dean Clough Gallery, Halifax – Yorkshire Sculptors Group ‘Temporal Terrains’
2019 Patchings Art Centre Sculpture Trail – Yorkshire Sculptors Group ‘Breaking Ground’
2019 The Bowery Gallery, Leeds – Two Person Show ‘Ghosts of 84-85’
2016 Lite Haus Gallery, Berlin – Group Show ‘Artist Toys’
2016 Brixton East Gallery, London – Group Show ‘Bad Behaviour’
2016 Fusion Lifestyle, London – Group Show ‘Camberwell Open’
2016 The Exchange, London – Group Show of Artists Books
2015 W3 Gallery, London – Group Show ‘Story so Far’
2015 Lubomirov/Easton Gallery, London – Group Show ‘Open Call Limited Editions’
2014 No Format Gallery, London – Group show ‘Out of the Box’
2014 Bath Arts Fringe, Bath – Group show ‘Tall Tales’
2014 Hundred Years Gallery, London – Two man show ‘Shifting Perceptions’
2013 The Pencil Museum, Keswick – Group show
2013 Mall Galleries, London – Group show ‘Derwent Drawing Prize’
2013 Candid Galleries, London – Group show
2012 Made in Greenwich Gallery, London – Group show
2006 Corner House Gallery, Manchester – Group show
2006 A radio performance at Imperial College, London
2005 Online show for basementartproject.com
2005 Group show, London – ‘EyeforArt’
2004 The Octopus Gallery, Athens – Group Show ‘Shelved’
2004 Group Show, Manchester – ‘Showhome’
2003 The McBeth, London – Group Show
2002 Group Show, London – ‘Loosely Drawn’
2001 Group Show, Wolverhampton – ‘Inreality’
2001 Merry-Hill Centre, Dudley – Group Show
2000 Mander Shopping Centre, Wolverhampton – Group Show
AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS:
2014 Shortlisted for Clapham Art Prize
2013 Shortlisted for Derwent Drawing Prize
2006 Shortlisted for John Moore Painting Exhibition
2001 Arts and Humanities Research Board funding for MA studies
COMMISSIONS AND WORK IN COLLECTIONS:
2018 commissioned piece for the Long Division Festival, Wakefield, shown on a public wall outside The Art House – ‘Are you becoming who you thought you were going to be‘
2017 Drawing from ‘Nerve War/Wojna Nerwów’ in the collection of Czytelnia Sztuki at Gliwice Museum.
2015 Private commission for Jonathon Stollar of an abstract relief piece.