Nik Pollard’s work is generated from sustained, direct observation with paintings and drawings often resolved in the field. A period of dedicated study at single or related locations is a necessary part of his process. Drawing from all the senses, he investigates the rhythms and characteristics of a location and its ecology, resulting in a sense of time and place.
Working with a range of mediums, he focuses on the essential aspects of what it is that has drawn him to the subject. Searching for a balance between figuration and abstraction he enjoys exploring the ambiguity and serendipity of mark making. When working in the studio he often turns to printmaking in order to pursue an idea further, substituting the thrill of the first-hand direct response with the magic of printmaking and the exploration of materials and processes that cannot easily be replicated outdoors.
Nik has been involved and has helped develop a number of Society of Wildlife Artists projects, he sees art education as a perfect opportunity to help people re-engage with nature and believes that art has a role in promoting conservation stories. Teaching is an integral part of his practice; he has been a guest tutor at the Royal College of Art, Artist in Residence at Marlborough College and is the Programme Director at Rabley Drawing Centre in Wiltshire.
He has been commissioned as a designer/illustrator by conservation NGOs, publishers and private companies; illustrating subjects ranging from Peter and the Wolf to the HS2.
Nik graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1998
Royal College of Art, Natural History Illustration MA 1996 – 1998
Carmarthenshire College 1992 – 1994
Kent Instiute of Art and Design 1990 – 1992
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Place 10, Rabley Drawing Centre, Wiltshire - 2015
New work, The Dolby Gallery, Oundle - 2013
Exploring the nearby, The Mount House, Marlborough - 2010
Sketchbook, The Mount House, Marlborough - 2009
Tiwi valley, The Dolby Gallery, Oundle - 2008
Coast and Woodland, The Dolby Gallery, Oundle - 2008
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Drawn from Nature, Stapleford Granary, Cambridge - 2020
Interpretations, Scotish Ornithological Centre, Aberlady - 2019
BIRDS, Fen Ditton Gallery, Cambridge - 2019
Coast, Rabley Gallery, Wiltshire - 2018
RWA Open, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol - 2017
RA Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London - 2017 /2018
RWA Drawn, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol - 2017
The Natural Eye, The Mall Galleries, London -1995-2019
Concrete Nature, Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire - 2015
Capturing the moment, The Mall Galleries, London - 2014
Living on the edge, Stamford Arts Centre, Lincolnshire - 2014
Drawn to Nature, Rabley Gallery, Wiltshire - 2012
Earth Music Festival, St George’s, Bristol - 2011
Wildlife in Printmaking, St Barbe Museum, Hampshire - 2011
SWLA mixed show, Zillah Bell, North Yorkshire - 2010
Nik has participated in a number of national and international projects working with The Artist for Nature Foundation, Birdlife, The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB, Natural England, British Trust for Ornithology, Doğa
Koruma Merkezi and Nationalpark Vadehavet. The objectives of the projects have been to highlight the importance and vulnerability of specific habitats and wildlife, through public engagement, exhibitions and publications.
Kingcombe meadows, Dorset Wildlife Trust - 2017
Wallasea Island Wild Coast Project, RSPB, Crossrail & The Environment Agency - 2015/16
Rabley Drawing Centre - 2014
Marlborough College - 2008-2010
Tropical Biological Association, Kibale, Uganda - 2002
Wadden Sea Project (Project co-ordinator) SWLA / Nationalpark Vadehavet, Denmark - 2019/21
Flight Lines, SWLA / British Trust for Ornithology, UK - 2017
Turkish Sweetgum Project (Project co-ordinator) SWLA / Doğa Koruma Merkezi, Turkey - 2016
Utrecht Province, Artist for Nature Foundation, Netherlands - 2005
The Great Fen Project, Artist for Nature Foundation / Natural England, UK - 2004
Aig an Oir, SWLA / Hi-Arts / Forestry Commision, Scotland - 2004
Tumbesian Project , Artists for Nature Foundation / Natural England / BirdLife, Peru & Ecuador - 2003
Nik has enjoyed extending his practice though collaboration with other artists, musicians and theatre directors.
Micro Performance, Curated by Rebecca Birch, Milton Keynes Gallery - 2010
The Seagull, Chekhov (Set design). The Ellis Theatre, Marlborough College - 2009
Quartet for the end of time, Messiaen. (Set design) The Ellis Theatre, Marlborough College - 2008
Nik sees his teaching opportunities as part of his practice and enjoys the exchanges with students, helping them to explore their ideas and develop ways of working. In 2018 he was asked to take over the role of Programme Director at Rabley Drawing Centre in Wiltshire.
Rabley Drawing Centre - Programme Director / Tutor
Creative Partnerships - Art and Ecology, Friars primary School, Southend. Years 1-5
Marlborough College - Art Scholars tutor / Assistant tutor Yr9 - U6
Royal College of Art - Visiting tutor
Trustee – Federation of British Artists. Mall Galleries, London
Member of council – Society of Wildlife Artists. Mall Galleries,London
Judge – Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2001