Karen Nicol 'Art Interiors'

Exhibition / Installation

Partner Programme

17   —    18, 20   —    25 Sep 2022

Craft, Interiors & Furniture, Multi-Disciplinary Design, Fashion & Textiles, Art / Collectibles, Materials

Town House Spitalfields

5 Fournier Street


E1 6QE


We are delighted to present an exhibition by Karen Nicol – one the most talented and unique mixed media artists working today. With a hugely diverse career spanning over fifty years, Karen regularly creates couture pieces for well-known fashion and interior houses, alongside her highly sought-after bespoke artworks.

"What is exceptional about embroidery is that you can use it with the same mark-making freedom as a painter uses a paintbrush, or a sculptor embraces form. We become ‘painters’ with textures and qualities and there are a million different surfaces to play with. The more embroidery I do the more I realise is possible". Unconventional and compelling – Karen’s creations are far from ordinary. She regularly scours flea markets and constantly turns the unwanted into the most extraordinary magical formations. Tattooed moneys, Napoleonic bears, and jewel encrusted zebras – anything is possible and unapologetically possesses an appetite for the original and authentic. "I find it an unbelievably exciting time to return to my studio, arms full of base cloths to work on and scraps of colour pinned to sheets of paper. My brain fizzes with ideas and suddenly all the previously irrelevant and obscure visual messages and technical ideas that have been unconsciously stored begin to slot into place and a glorious feverish time of working ensues". Typically working on multiple projects at once - such as fine art pieces for galleries, commercial fashion and interiors, (most recently an exquisite collection of monogramed napkins commissioned by Chanel for The Venice Biennale) and bespoke commissions for private clients - she is completely multi-facetted, making Nicol hard to define. Fashion, interiors or art? The answer is all three and so for the first time Karen will be exhibiting all side by side turning the gallery at Town House into a fantastical menagerie. Beautifully embroidered wallpapers, screens, tableware and cushions will sit alongside framed creations of animals and birds – all created in Karen’s London studio using recycled and sustainable materials. She studied at Manchester Metropolitan University and originally wanted to be a fine artist but on introduction to mixed media textiles realised that no other medium could offer such a wealth of diversity and potential. She then went on to gain her masters at The Royal College of Art. Later she went on to found the MA Mixed Media course at the RCA, practicing as senior lecturer, research fellow and visiting professor In 2015 Karen was made an RDI (a royal designer for industry). One of only 200 in the world. Karen has held successful solo exhibitions in London, Paris Italy and New York and has exhibited at numerous international art fairs. Her large embroidered, painted and sculpted art pieces are held in private and public collections worldwide. The exhibition is in conjunction with Air Contemporary who represent Karen. All pieces will be available for purchase and Karen is happy to discuss commissions for bespoke works for individuals and wholesale projects with designers and interiors companies. For priority viewing / press enquiries / commissions please contact Maria Morrow