In a career stretching 30 years, Nicky Coady has travelled a journey of inspiration and transformation, a personal and professional exploration that has stamped its footprint across a lifetime of work.
Nicky's decision to pursue ceramics professionally was cemented when she was awarded the Ceramic Prize in the l976 Lane Cove Art Show by LLoyd Rees. "I had been working on large hand built multi spouted forms and having such a well-respected Artist award me the prize and describe my work as "innovative" provided the impetus to launch my professional career".
During the 1980's Coady immersed herself in developing her sense of concept and expression, attending many workshops. The most influential was prominent New Zealand potter, Len Castle, who shared her affinity for texture. Working with some of Castle's concepts, she consolidated her technical skills and found a sensibility to organic structures. Emerging from this process are Nicky's ritual vessels - large, earthy, handcoiled forms that are deeply textured on the exterior, reminiscent of weathered sandstone.
In the l990's, having firmly established herself as a professional Ceramic Artist, Nicky extended to new ideas and concepts and produced her "Ned Kelly" tea sets, replicating the tactile metallic attributes of corrugated iron through use of surface textural treatment and a black pewter glaze she developed.
In 2002, she began producing "Jugs with Attitude", as a series of jugs with various textures and glazes, each jug taking on its own personality and attitude. In this latest series, she is emerging from the work which is playful and fun, increasingly relaxed and self-assured.
Nicky’s work has been exhibited throughout Australia – including the Freemantle Arts Centre, Cowra Regional Art Gallery, The Gallery on Lurline, Katoomba, Gannon House and Gleneaon Craft Expos, Sydney, Lovedale Limited Edition Expos, Deloraine Craft Fair, Tasmania , Warrandyte Pottery Expo, Victoria and currently at Ferry Artists' Gallery, Wiseman's Ferry and the Ogishi Craft Centre, Hunter Valley.
Her professional retrospective, "The Ripples of Time celebrating 20 years" was held at Bancroft Gallery, in 2007 which was opened by John Doyle. In 2015 Nicky won the "300 grams." Competition/Exhibition and a section of the Sydney Teapot Show.
2016 saw Nicky celebrating "30 Years on - Celebration" Exhibition with graduates from Brookvale TAFE in 1986. In March 2016 - she exhibited at the Artists Studios Co-operative in North Gosford with Textile Artist Alan Tremain entitled "Reflections of Japan" with her latest creations influenced by the 'Boro" aesthetic. Several pieces of this series will be on display and for sale at the Expo.
And if you are looking for a picture of a happy woman just take a look at her profile picture above as she stands with a ball of clay in her hands in her busy, cluttered studio.
- Carole Whitmore