"We may be wage-enslaved Americans forced to move, at the absurd national rate, to a new "home place" every four years. We may be old men climbing on the wrong damned bus. We may be elk at heart, forced to live like sheep, or salmon forced to live like carp. The blood still begs direction home. No matter how circumstance has dealt with us, or how disenfranchised or placeless we've become, we will never be dispossessed of the right to feel at home in these little blood-filled bodies, on this reeling planet, as often as we can, as deeply as we can, any goddamned God-blessed place we possibly can."
-David James Duncan
The self portraits started just after I finished my degree at The Royal Drawing School, but the truth was I had been looking for me for a long time before that. I was initially hooked by the physicality of drawing my own portrait over and over, a face that like a river never seemed to be the same twice. Slowly I started to wonder what a person was. Around the time that I was starting to dig deeper I had a molar that had gone bad pulled, and the hole that it left in my jaw allowed me to feel a part of my skull, my jaw, for the first time. It shook me to really be able to understand myself as both an inside and an outside, and I started drawing in the parts I knew were there but couldn't see, my bones and organs. This still didn't explain what really makes a person a person adequately and over time I've added in elements of memory, myth, and place.
This work is a culmination of my search for both what a person really is and when they can say they are home. Like David James Duncan, I had come to the conclusion that my own body was my only home, but since I've moved back to the Pacific Northwest I'm not sure that answer is perfectly true. I am a body, but I also am from somewhere, and no matter where I am, that place comes with me. I am a collection of bones, an outside visible skin, bad teeth, water, fables, Salal, river teeth, tall grass, memories, and lungs. And so are you, in your own way.
Nhatt Nichols was born on top of a mountain in north-central Washington State. Raised by survivalist parents, she grew up with a the ability to watch and observe the world around her as a permanent outsider.
Nichols graduated from The Royal Drawing School in 2011 with an MFA equivalent degree in drawing. After graduating she left London, ending a decade of living abroad to travel in her home country. After living in Brooklyn and Martha's Vineyard, she settled in Port Townsend, Washington where she is a member of Corvidae Press and teaches at The Port Townsend School of the Arts.
Autobiogeographic- Unsmoke Systems Artspace, Braddock, 2016
Girls and Bears- Variety Gallery, Brooklyn, 2014
Selected Group Shows
Into The Garden- Pathways Projects Institute, Martha’s Vineyard, 2015
One/1- Manhattan Graphic Center, NYC, 2014
Rootstein Hopkins Drawing Prize- London, 2013
Annual Juried Show- Manhattan Graphic Center, NYC, 2012
Prince’s Drawing School Artists- R.K. Burt Gallery, London, 2011
Drawn Together- 28 Red Church Street Gallery, London, 2008
Awards and Residencies
Rootstein Hopkins Drawing Prize, Third Prize, 2013
The Owl Barn Residency, Cirencester, UK, 2012