Nicole Jakins | Flash + Doc

Nicole Jakins, Towards the Light (memory of fire), fire devils.  2020, Stoneware clay, copper, found objects, ochres and pigments.

One of the highlights of this project, for me, has been approaching artists whose work I’ve admired for years. And one of the aims was to bring those works together in a way that’s accessible to more than the regular art-lover.

I was reading recently about revisiting a ‘beginners’ approach to looking at art. What do you see, what do you feel. It was a keep-it-simple way of talking about art in this time. The language is not academic or sophisticated. Some might argue it doesn’t educate? Nor does it confuddle or alienate. There has to be a way to speak in both lingos and come out understanding more, and not less.

Nicole’s work makes me swoon. There, I said it out loud! But why does that happen? I come to it biased, with my own long-immersed love of nature, especially our Australian species, but I also see Nicole’s love of it through her incredibly delicate, intricate weaving of form and detail and material. And I see that without even knowing her. In art, it is the coming together of a stunningly honed practice and sophisticated concepts that topples me over every time. I’m really excited about what others will see and feel when they visit the works, such as Nicoles, in this exhibition – just 3 months away! Thanks Nicole, for being part of FOUND!


Nicole, what is your art practice?
I’m a mixed media sculptor who works in mainly salvaged copper, combining clay forms with found objects. My area of interest lies is the cycle of life, the fragility of nature, and the resilience of the Australian bush. I also make jewellery depicting Australian native plants and animals.

(Ed: Click here to see Nicole’s jewellery, they are breathtaking AND popular!)

Who are your studio companions?
Born in Cooktown, both my children are wolfhound/ bull-arab cross. Through living in the bush during their childhood, both Flash and Doc (brother and sister) learnt how to howl by listening to dingo calls…I’m kind of proud of them for adopting the call of the wild!  I’ve just lost my other daughter Ding, who recently passed away before we moved from Doughboy to Glenwood… I really miss her and I don’t know what I’d do without my cuddles from Flash and Doc.

What are you working on in your studio now?
At the moment I’m trying to finish off those long term sculptural projects that I haven’t been able to resolve. I have two birds, a goanna and a python on the go, as well as a dingo series for Found Studio Dog!

How has the current imposed isolation changed what you’re doing? Has something really surprised you during this transition to ‘artist in quarantine’?
I actually haven’t been in isolation, I’ve been working 3 days a week on contract and really pushing myself hard in the studio for the other 3 or 4 days. I felt that I was so fortunate to have the paid work during the COVID-19 crisis, that I wanted to honour the blessing I had been given by not wasting a second in my other life. I’m exhausted though, and realise that I need to stop for a bit before I really burn out.

Any special news about your art practice?
I’m embracing every opportunity that comes my way and feel so grateful to have just been awarded an artist in residency with CQRASN for their Tough and Tender Beauty program. I’ll use this opportunity to step back from the intensity of what I’ve been doing to get back into a little bit more mindful art-making, experimental, and work that will inform and resolve what I’m doing for Found Studio Dog.  

I’ve also been invited to exhibit in the Cultivate exhibition, an online show with the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney. These works fuse both my sculptural and jewellery practice and depict Australian native birds and plants.

(Ed: ooooo click on the Cultivate link, some beautiful, irresistible pieces there!)

Nicole with Studio Dog, Doc.
Nicole Jakins, Towards the Light (memory of fire), night embers. 2020, Stoneware clay, copper, found objects, ochres and pigments.

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