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Artist Statement

Two things that have been with me through my entire life are my desire to create, and the issues inside my head. I was always a dreamy child never all that bothered with anything academic. I wanted to draw the things that were inside my mind. My teachers despaired at my poor handwriting and one in particular suggested that I moderate my fascination with Science Fiction.

I found this hilarious because Science Fiction, horror and fantasy were massively important to me. Why would I reduce the amount of something that gave my life meaning?  I also struggled with my art tutor who didn’t understand me at all, and couldn’t see why I didn’t want to sit there and draw potted plants or a pile of old junk.

Nick Hook:

“Art isn’t there just to entertain, just to fill a space on the wall. It has to provoke, it has to question, it has to stimulate debate.”

Artwork by Nick Hook

What are the main inspirations behind your work?

It was during a family trip to the Tate Gallery that I discovered Surrealism . This was a kind of art that really spoke to me. In particular The Sleeping Venus by Paul Delvaux, with it’s strange figures and skeleton. In my teens I discovered Sci Fi illustrators that further inspired me such as Bruce Pennington and Chris Achilleos.

Then came the movie Alien with the Artworks of Biomechanical Swiss Artist H R Giger. I had never seen anything quite like his work, it was a revelation.  Pop Art also helped me clarify where I wanted to go as an artist. My most inspirational authors are Phillip K Dick and H P Lovecraft. Both had very strange ways of looking at the world we live in. Favorite Sci Fi movies? The Thing, Alien, Escape from New York and Blade Runner.

Artwork by Nick Hook
Artwork by Nick Hook
Artwork by Nick Hook
Artwork by Nick Hook

As a neurodivergent artist, how did you find studying at art college?

I studied at Chelsea School of Art and The Byam Shaw School of Art. Again I struggled with my tutors because I couldn’t handle criticism, it would always feel like a personal attack and make me sad and angry. One of my problems is that I take things literally. So when a tutor at Chelsea School of Art gave me a small sketch book and suggested I draw about my various problems and issues, I naturally went into it the whole way.

When she then said that I should do some paintings based on these drawings suddenly it was all too much. I was too honest for them, too real.  Later I found ways to channel my imagery into less horrific forms. I was recently diagnosed with Autism and ADHD, I’d spent years seeing therapists, but it was only when I noticed certain common behaviours to my own in my nephew who is Autistic that I had a clue as to my condition. A diagnosis was a long time in coming, but now I know what it is that I am dealing with. 

Click below to see more of Nick Hook’s work…

Artist Nick Hook

What do we do?

Hart Club’s mission is to champion neurodiversity within the Arts.