We had the pleasure of speaking with artist Nigel Kingsbury, a member of ActionSpace, which is an arts organisation that supports the development of artists with learning disabilities. Nigel was recently one of the 58 artists shortlisted for the 2015 Jerwood Drawing Prize, the largest and longest running annual open exhibition for drawing in the UK.

Jerwood Grayscale, Nigel Kingsbury 2015Jerwood Grayscale, Nigel Kingsbury 2015.

Nigel discovered his passion for drawing in his 20’s, having spent a lot of time in hospital he began sketching the nurses, who were his main source of inspiration at the time. His work is very distinct: a series of beautiful, delicate drawings that carefully observe the female figure. Nigel pays close attention to the hair – he always starts by drawing the hair before anything else; the women he sketches are usually adorned in glamorous ball gowns, floating dresses and 1920’s outfits.

Nigel Kingsbury photograph.Nigel pictured with ActionSpace staff members at the Jerwood 2015 Private View.

His work has been described as, “Frequently [having] a mysterious and eerie quality that transcends time and idolizes [the] female form in a rare and carefully observed manner removed from contemporary gender stereotyping.”[1]

Michela, Nigel KingsburyMichela, Nigel Kingsbury

When asked what it is about women that inspires him, it’s impossible to narrow down. There are many women in Nigel’s life who have inspired him, so much so that the very thought of the question brings a smile to his face before he starts crying with laughter. Nigel tells us that he will continue drawing, so keep your eyes peeled for his future projects.

Nigel Kingsbury drawing in studio.Nigel drawing in the studio.

We were lucky enough to work with Nigel in 2011 where he was among the artists featured in our ‘Uninterpreted’ exhibition. You can read more on ‘Uninterpreted’ and download the catalogue in our archive.

Banner image: Nigel Kingsbury drawing.