The official 2019 General Election artist has been named as Nicky Hirst.
The London-based artist who works in a variety of media has been appointed by the Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art. She will observe the ongoing campaigns by the parties and produce a unique work of art in response to her experience. Her final artwork will join the Parliamentary Art Collection in 2020.
As an artist, Hirst is interested in layers of history, people and places, and her art often takes something intangible and makes it concrete and visible. Her inspiration and source material comes from a mix of observation, conversation and found objects. Each project is carefully researched and results in an individual response to the subject matter.
She has exhibited in numerous places, including at Courtauld Gallery, Coventry Biennial, Exeter Phoenix, Imperial War Museum, Royal Academy of Arts and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Commenting on her appointment as the General Election artist, she said, “This appointment is a true honour. Prior to this election, I found myself being drawn to current politics more than ever before. Being the Election Artist is a rare opportunity to come to the campaign with an open mind to observe and document what candidates are saying. I want to be as honest and transparent as possible about what I see as I immerse myself in this world. In my work, I’m often more interested in questions than in answers and I see my role as an artist to point at things and further examine processes.”
Melissa Hamnett, Head of Heritage Collections and Curator of Works of Art, UK Parliament, said, “Nicky Hirst is a great choice for the official 2019 Election Artist. She works in a wide range of media and I look forward to seeing how her impressions and experiences develop over the campaign to inform her final work. Elections are vital moments in the political history of the nation, and have been the subject of paintings and engravings since the 18th century. Nicky will continue the tradition, illustrating not only politics, but the society and culture of our time.”
The Parliamentary Art Collection is a unique collection which documents and illustrates the history of Parliament over the centuries and explores the function and activities of Parliament today. The Speaker’s Advisory Committee on Works of Art is committed to developing the collection by acquiring works that depict issues and individuals of particular historical significance to Parliament.