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ArtistSheffieldUnited Kingdom

Painter, Printmaker and Designer. Fascinated by systems and hierarchies that grow out of human interactions, and the myths and narratives that grow from them.

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British painter, printmaker and designer based in Sheffield, UK. Working internationally and as part of the Island6 art collective, Shanghai, PRC. 

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Nick Hersey is a British born painter, printmaker and designer who has lived in London, Sao Paulo, Thailand and Shanghai and who now resides near Sheffield, UK. His predominantly figurative work explores the way in which codes, signs and visual narrative can illuminate the existential conundrum of the modern individual and express his struggle to find a voice in the wider context of contemporary society.

Nick studied Illustration at Kingston University, London before taking his skills into the world of graphic design, where he explored the power of images and typography for a variety of top clients for a prominent London Ad Agency. His first exhibition in 2000 – an installation of ‘live paintings’ in London’s Shoreditch, reflected this relationship between image and text, and attempted to expose the creative process behind an artistic theme.

In 2001 Nick moved with his family to Brazil and spent 4 years living in Sao Paulo. There he was able to focus on his painting, exploring through portraiture the struggle of the individual through initiatives, workshops and collaborative projects with young and disadvantaged people from the favelas around the city. This was a theme he continued to explore when he moved to Thailand in 2006, working with displaced Burmese migrants who had found refuge in neighbouring Thailand but who had been stripped of their identity – both legally and emotionally. His collaborative projects combined self-portraits and subjective paintings, exhibiting his own works alongside those of his subjects, as a way of acknowledging their status and enriching their own skills and sense of self.

In 2007 he moved to Shanghai, and after a series of self-initiated projects with cultural tribes such as professional Chinese skateboarders and banned local Punk bands,  joined forces with the Island6 art collective – an international group of multidisciplinary artists based in the city who explored the clash of cultures and economies that was the new ‘Open-for-business China’. Once again Nicks work explored the role of the individual, and its struggle to find voice in among the clamour of mass population and the struggle for success and freedom. The rapid expansion of consumer values and their contrast with the inherent instinct of a communist society rang echoes with some of Nick’s earliest projects back in London in his youth, where his ideas around the society of the spectacle and the writings of Barthes found a new and relevant resonance.

On his return to England in 2010 he moved to the East Midlands, near Sheffield, and carried out a variety of projects, residencies and collaborations in such diverse environments as a disused chocolate factory, a low end shopping mall and the empty shells of condemned buildings habited by Urban-exploration gangs.


2000 “Show & Tell” Hoxton, London
2003 “Salao” Centre Cultural Japonés, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2004 “Everything Must Go” 42 Benedito Calixto, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2006 “Refugee Project” Liam’s Gallery, Pattaya, Thailand
2007 “Loudspeaker” Arch Cafe, Shanghai, China
2008 “Urban Lust” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2008 “Automata” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2009 “Placebo” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2009 “30 Degrees” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2009 “Synesthesia” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2009 “Artnival” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2009 “The Artist Died Yesterday” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2010 “Fakirs” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2010 “Libido Mortido” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2010 “Absolute Zero” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2010 “Prophecies” Island 6, Shanghai, China
2011 “Beyond Oker Hill” First Movement@ The Level Centre, Derbyshire, UK
2011 “Situation Critical” Artist commission for Wirksworth Festival 2011, UK
2011 “The Fact Is…” Empty JJB Sports unit, Rotheram, UK
2012 “The Fact Is…” Bank Street Arts, Sheffield, UK
2012 “Truth, Credit & Other Opiates” Worcester Arts Workshop, Worcester, UK
2012 “PINT” arts festival, Burton on Trent
2012 “Through Looking” Level Centre, Rowsley, UK
2013 “In Residence” The Chocolate Factory, Derby
2013 “Event Horizon – Artist in Residence” @ Derby QUAD
2015 “Specialists in Failure” – Tarpey Gallery, UK
2016 “Ten” – island6, Shanghai, China
2017 “Symbiotic” – IAC, John Smedley’s Mill, UK
2017 “Talkex” – Rotherham ROAR, UK
2017 “erutuF” – WhyWhyArt, Nanjang, China


Fountain of Life: Pattaya Mail July 2007
Working in a Glass Box: Anne Bach Pedersen 2009
Nick inhabits a landscape of difering truths: David Owen, Shanghai 2010
Nick Hersey @ Wirksworth: Gavin Repton 2011
Worcester Arts Workshop DocumentaryTruth Credit & Other Opiates 2012
Andy Potter radio show  interview 2013
BIG Draw – Matlock, Derbyshire 2013

United Kingdom
English, Portuguese
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