Claire Nichols

Course Leader, FESP Studio Art Study Abroad and Study Abroad Tutor, BA Fine Art

Central Saint Martins


Claire Nichols is an artist who lives and works in London. Exhibitions include the David Roberts Art Foundation, London; Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast; MoMA PS1, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ICA, London; Centre Cultural la Mercè, Girona; Art on the Underground, London; and Largo das Artes, Rio de Janeiro.

Research interests

Fine art, drawing, sculpture, performance, photography, text.

Research statement

Nichols’ work plays with the philosophical and physical spaces of the studio and the gallery, exploring these spaces through series of drawings, sculptures, texts and performances.

In her series, The Empty Gallery Interviews (2008-11), Nichols created a platform for considering the performative relationship of an artist or curator with their site of production. In this project, she was interested in each ‘empty gallery’ as a site of both actual and possible display, and how the verbal articulation (and public performance) of work that is yet to be displayed, might affect a future reading of that work. Ten Empty Gallery Interviews were held with artists and curators in front of live audiences in very different empty gallery spaces, including David Roberts Art Foundation, Plymouth Arts Centre, Five Years Gallery, Limoncello and the Zabludowicz Collection. 

Nichols’ recent projects, Blue Window (2014), and Tripwire (2015), created conversations with the space of the studio and with other artworks, whilst her latest residency project at Largo das Artes, Rio de Janeiro (2015), explored the physical, temporal and hypothetical space of the white-walled gallery.  Responding in part to modernist architecture encountered in Brazil (in particular, that of Lina Bo Bardi), Nichols created modular sculptures that became temporary drawings and propositions in space.

Nichols is currently working on a longer-term project that seeks to research and create a residency space in which artists and architects collaborate on the construction of an ever-evolving sculptural building.

Selected research outputs