Nigel’s main inspiration was the female form; he created delicate portraits of women, depicting them as mystical goddesses with heaving bosoms, attired in glamorous ball gowns and floating dresses. Nigel’s drawings have a mysterious and eerie quality that transcend time, idolising the female figure in a rare and carefully observed manner. He’d often, from memory draw the figure nude then add clothes and folds of fabric with layers of finely sketched lines. His drawings from life were dedicated to the women who inspired him and he’d frequently sign his work ‘Loves Nigel’ or ‘Nigel Loves’ in their honour.
Sadly Nigel died on 7 January 2016 after a lifetime developing his drawing practice. He leaves an amazing legacy with his works already in numerous private and museum collections including Pallant House Gallery and the Museum of Everything.
- This is dedicated to the one I love, Gallery of Everything, 2017 (group show)
- Paris Outsider Art Fair, exhibition of selected Outside In selected artists, Hotel du Duc, 2015 (group show)
- Jerwood Drawing Prize, exhibition of selected artists, on tour 2015/16 (group show)
- Nigel Kingsbury: Nigel Loves, Julian Hartnoll, 37 Duke Street St James’s, 2014 (solo show)
- The Inner Self: Drawings from the Subconscious, CGP London, 2014 (group show)
- Parallel Lines, Area 44, 2014 (group show)
- Watch This Space, Wandsworth Arts Festival Fringe, Southside Shopping Centre, 2014 (group show)
- Nigel Kingsbury: Loves Nigel, Pallant House Gallery, 2014 (solo show)
- Bold Vision: Outsiders in Black and White, Julian Hartnoll Gallery, 2013 (group show)
- Side by Side international exhibition, Southbank Centre, 2013 (group show)
- Dreamcatcher. Moment in Time. Part of Shape in the City, Gracechurch Street, 2013 (group show)
- Outside In: National Exhibition, Pallant House Gallery, 2012-2013 (group show)
“Nigel Kingsbury, was a gentle man of very few words whose art spoke for him and intrigued all those who saw it. Known to only use pencil to execute his drawings, his body of work of women in beautiful ball gowns is instantly recognisable. He was always able to seek out women in his vicinity – whether on television or in person – for his next drawing, a favourite of his being his support worker, Becky. If he wanted to draw you, he would only take occasional cheeky glance at you and smile, before placing his next line. With Nigel you could see that love went into every line that he drew. He lingered on every stroke of pencil, debating its placement and whether he was happy with it. Months would pass before a drawing was complete and at the end he would sign his work “Loves Nigel” or ” Nigel Loves” followed by an abundance of kisses.
Nigel attended ActionSpace for over 10 years – a London based organisation that supports artists with learning disabilities – and this is where he created most of his art. More recently, Outside In has exhibited Nigel’s work in Pallant House Gallery, CGP London and Outside Art Fair in Paris. His work is now in private collections across the world. Roger Cardinal said of Nigel’s work, “He was such a fresh and inspired newcomer on a crowded stage.”
Nigel took great pleasure in showing his work at exhibitions, often beaming with pride and pointing to sold stickers to make sure you took note! Although not able to hold long verbal conversations, and often communicating through signing and gestures only, he gave so much back without words and will be sorely missed by many. We know his art will be enjoyed for years to come.”
Jennifer Gilbert, Manager, Outside In
“Over the last few years Pallant House Gallery has started to collect works by Outsider and Marginalised artists, to reflect this important aspect of the Gallery’s activities, and imbed these works into our collections of Modern British, international and contemporary art. When considering a possible acquisition from the Outside In exhibition, we were drawn to the drawing ‘Woman’ by Nigel Kingsbury because we felt that it was a very powerful drawing that could easily hold its own alongside works by celebrated modern artists in the collection. It is a fine example of delicate draftsmanship, but also a compelling work that speaks of nuanced attitudes to women, and has a mystical quality that we felt could be used in a variety of different thematic displays. When discussing this with the expert on Outsider Art and Surrealism, Roger Cardinal, he also concurred that this would be a significant work to acquire for our collection.”
Simon Martin – Head of Collections and Exhibitions at Pallant House Gallery