#223 | Nichole Bartlow



My interest lies in time verses eternity, the temporal and the infinite, the human condition, the mysteries. As a child I dreamt of becoming an archeologist. The entire process captivated me: digging to find answers, carefully uncovering history, discovering hidden treasures, the physicality and intrigue of touching remnants of a past era – all while having fun “playing in the dirt”.

Happily, I discovered that the same sense of wonder and adventure that I craved as a child could be found in the world of art making. The process of my work is inherently in many ways the same as archeology. Below the surface of my paintings there may be as many as 20 layers, each with their own story to tell…bits of dreams, longings, memories, imagination, responses, impulses and my absolute infatuation with mystery - all mix and mingle intuitively into the work. I love the tactile and organic nature of spreading bee’s wax medium mixed with elements of the earth such as marble, clay, earth pigments, graphite, mica, oils, etc. over the panel. I construct layers of “history” I then scratch and dig gently into the surface in a responsive mark making rhythm and what lies beneath each layer is revealed. It is much the same with life – each experience we have adds to the depth of who we are as beings and depending on how far back into that history we have dared to “dig” so to speak, to reconcile, to amend, to forgive, to let go, to allow the light of redemption to shine on the scratches, scars and broken places – beauty is revealed.