Nigel Cox, alone but not lonely
I’m a London based artists. I was born in Newry Co. Down Ireland and grew up on the edge of Dundalk, a small market town in County Louth. After graduating from Riversdale College of Technology in Liverpool, I joined the Transglobe Expedition, led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes. This three-year expedition successfully achieved the first circumnavigation of the globe on land, sea and ice via North and South poles along the Greenwich Meridian.
During the expedition I would be at sea, on an ice cap or in some remote location for months on end. Spending large amounts of time alone, surrounded by the staggering beauty of vast and often barren spaces had a profound affect and the essence of this experience strongly influenced my painting.
My love of large open spaces and lack of clutter is obvious in my work but I am also fascinated by detail. These opposing elements are merged in my paintings providing the viewer with a glimpse beyond the clutter of everyday life, conjuring up notions of escape and peace, offering sanctuary from the frenetic world outside.
I remove everyday people from the crowd and place them centre stage. They are unaware of my presence and therefore are natural and relaxed . . . a more true essence of the person, I feel, than a posed or traditional portrait . . whereby the sitter is aware that they are being observed and switch into pose mode.
The figures are alone but not lonely; searching but not anxious, anticipating yet calm. They have an inner peace and strength and are at one with their surroundings giving every day scenes an unexpected and surreal feeling while keeping them within the real world.