My art is informed by my life-long love of animals. I grew up with a dog by my side and learned from an early age that every animal has its own distinctive personality. As an artist my work is a continually evolving exploration of animal behaviour. I never start a new piece without making that connection with my subject. I need to understand the animal, its environment, behaviour and personality. I need to know its story and what it’s feeling; is it vulnerable, sleepy, proud, frightened, angry, playful?
Most of my animal sculptures are based on observations made in the wild. This is the only way to really connect with the animal on its own level. I’m not interested in making crude anthropomorphisms. For me, it’s disrespectful and betrays a failure to understand and relate to the subject. My work is inspired by what I see in the wild. A slight tilt of the head, licking of the lips or pricking of the ears can speak volumes. These are the subtle details that bring a sculpture to life and transform it from a purely representational model to an expressive and emotive artwork. Ultimately, it’s the presence in the room which I find so exciting and which makes sculpture so powerful.
Nick Mackman is an award winning sculptor of ceramic and bronze animal sculptures. She has been widely exhibited and in 2015 she won the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) Wildlife Artist of the Year competition. In 2012 she was Overall Runner-up and category winner in 2010.
Her animal sculptures have found home with, amongst others, John Cleese, Dame Judi Dench, Chris Packham, David Shepherd and Viscountess Serena Linley. She has been commissioned by British Airways and the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. Her work is held in numerous private collections and is prized for its striking intensity and personality. Many of her subjects are highly endangered and she actively supports the work of animal and nature conservation charities at home and abroad. She lives in Devon in the South West of England with her husband, twins and two dogs.