Monday 10 October 2022


 I have been publishing blogposts since January 2016 -  405, to date. This one celebrates my friend, Nick Wilkinson, and his art.

Nick Wilkinson creates an impact - and degrees of resolution - at the Jupiter Gallery in Newlyn, September 2022

Most of my blogposts have been political, but three score and more have been personal, concerned for instance with the role of art in both my life and Louise's - and our contact with Penwith artists, here in Cornwall. Here's one that looks at my own work as an artist when I was much younger:

This one is the third in a series shining a light on my wife Louise's textile art exhibition at the Crypt Gallery in St Ives in 2019:

This one highlights the work of Lee Stevenson, a Penwith artist who painted my portrait in 2020: 

And this one celebrates the work of other Penwith artists I know and whose work graces the walls of our home:

All of which brings me to the focus for this blogpost today - a celebration of the work of Nick Wilkinson. I first met Nick, a fellow dog walker, around four years ago. We talked well together. There was a sense we had things in common. I learned that he earned his living as a driving school owner and instructor - and that he had a passion for painting. I looked at - and liked - work that he showed on line. And then, this year, I learned that his first solo exhibition was being arranged for display at the Jupiter Gallery in Newlyn in September.

One of the effects of this pandemic has been to make me sensitive to unnecessary risk. Even as I write, the coronavirus is morphing into yet another wave to overwhelm our decimated NHS and end the lives of more UK citizens, prematurely. Louise and I have been avoiding travel and meeting others indoors for over three years. So my first reaction to Nick's news about his exhibition was to wish him well - but I was reluctant to attend. 

But I had second thoughts, thank goodness - and changed my mind. I travelled to Newlyn and saw the

exhibition. I am so pleased I did. Here is my photo-report:

From the inside of the Newlyn 'Jupiter' Gallery looking out - Golden Plastic Daggers is Nick's title for his show. 

 Before I show you more images, here are some thoughts from the curator of the show, Faye Dobinson:

'The paintings of Nick Wilkinson contain, like him, a quiet force, acting as a tool for both revelation and divination. They have a strata of memories and sacrifice where things are buried and exposed. It is a deeply moving, physical and honest body of work that is heart-on-sleeve, no holds barred: simultaneously tortured and yet free'.

Yes - that's certainly pointing in the right direction. For the twenty minutes or so I was in attendance, I felt its physicality and its revelatory quality.

Haunting - and unflinching

Here is Nick on his own work and exhibition:

'Golden plastic daggers is  a sort of talisman for me. It's the lack of empathy I see for other humans and their journey. Mine has had its troubled moments like anyone else's but some of those moments came with a stigma: a black mark on one's soul - so the golden plastic daggers refers to that look some folk dish out .... I'm trying to paint my way out of my past defining my future. So they can throw their golden plastic daggers all they want.' 


The Jupiter Gallery opens a door on Nick's inner world

And here is more from Faye Dobinson:

'He has a brain that thinks deeply and a shattered heart made whole again through love - and that is the 'secret love story, hidden away in the works'. That story is like the river beneath the river - a deep hum of colour and narrative that runs through his life and work in expressions of emotions, brushstrokes and scratches. His love and admiration for his wife, Martha, is always there.' 

Such rivers of imagination

And more still from Faye:

'What lifts Nick's art from the direct grapple with the often brutal tropes of the masculine is the force of the archetype feminine that runs through him and his work ... the force that relates instead of breaking things off into parts, that looks for where we connect, where we relate, asks where is the love, that seeks to truly see both others and experiences. The great work of our time is to bring the feminine into our culture and it's not an easy path as it requires a constant dance with our sense of self. I see painting as the place that Nick meets himself and his journey through life, where he can be honest and instinctive, destroying and rebuilding it all in layers and layers of colour and love.'  

A ballroom of dance

I hope all this has served to give you a flavour of a special talent. Thank you, Nick Wilkinson, for sharing your journey with such artistry. 


Nick (bottom right), family, and friends

And a couple more from the walls of the Jupiter Gallery:

The river rolls on ...

Last shot - more pictures and the curator, Faye Dobinson, at her desk

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