Nicky Crowther (1978) lives and works in London. She is a self-taught artist and vintage toy collector. She collects original condition vintage toys and re-imagines them in carefully composed contemporary 3D installations. The pieces exhibited here come from her ‘Flying Machines’ collection in which she primarily uses antique Dinky Toy aeroplanes as her medium, dating from as early as 1945.
The theme of the work is the preservation of toys. Crowther will spend months sourcing specific and often rare originals. These beautifully crafted and treasured antiques are sometimes in pristine condition, and sometimes damaged from use, but all provide Nicky with inspiration as characters for the stories she sets out to weave in her playful composition.
Out of the chaotic and sometimes very dusty world of discarded toys and antique fairs Nicky creates order, calm and bright contemporary design. In the work there is the simple instinctive & joyful reaction of a child at play and also the nostalgia of something old and well-loved that has been brought back to life. The pieces are set at specific angles and heights to create perspective, and changing shadows, to evoke the feeling of lift and flight and to give the work the quality of a moving sculptural relief.
“Through my work I aim to strike a cord or inspire everyone in some way. For the very young, they adore seeing their subject matter on the wall and the bright colours stop them in their tracks. For the older generation, the history of the toys stir the subconscious memories often buried. They remember these pre and post war toys, as their own. For some, they are reminded that through play they found escapism from often what was a difficult reality.” NICKY CROWTHER
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