Artists

Nickola McCoyNickola McCoy was born on 25 October 1974 on Grand Cayman, the eldest daughter of eight children born to a Jamaican mother and a Caymanian father. Her art is entirely self taught. She has lived most of her life on Grand Cayman in the British Cayman Islands and studied briefly in the United States.

Her travels have taken her to Russia where she worked with orphaned children and to Cuba where she assisted with medicinal aid and vaccination programmes in under funded hospitals. Her life has seen many varied areas of work including time as a police officer, a dive instructor, a postal worker, an insurance administrator and a teacher. In 2000, following a spinal injury and three months of immobility and intense physiotherapy, she gave up her then career in insurance. This became a turning point in her life and she began to take her first love, the arts, more seriously.

She redirected her focus on the two things she loved most Art and Children, and began working at the St Georges Anglican School with young children teaching motor skills through the practice of art. A year later in 2001 she was asked by the education department to set up an art curriculum for a public primary school, teaching basic art skills for students ages 5-12. Ms. McCoy worked with the George Town primary School for two years as the primary source of art for the entire school.

In 2003 she began volunteering at the National gallery of the Cayman Islands as an outreach art instructor, under the tutorship of Mr. Tony Crosbie and Mrs. Leslie Bigliman, the former director of the National Gallery. In 2004 Ms McCoy was approached by the National Gallery to fill the position of Education and Outreach Facilitator.

After twelve months in this position Ms McCoy relocated to Cornwall in the United Kingdom in order to further her own art education and to continue working in a place that has inspired artistic endeavour for centuries. Her last series entitled "The Black Hat Series" comprised over 40 paintings and has now been sold to private collectors and institutions. Work has already begun on a new series likely to entitled "Wild Wild West", as well as several other projects.

Statement

I believe that art is an alternative language and is universal. No words are needed. It is as old as time and as relative as the earth is round. I believe in the power of art to conceal, to heal, to reveal and to conceive. My work represents the ever revolving door of the human mind's desire to dream, and imagine, to examine and determine. I will not limit myself for the pleasure or the pockets of anyone. My work is of me and is me. It has always been, and will always remain, me and the world as I perceive it. I will continue to create for the pure pleasure I get from producing what is uniquely mine, as it is conceived and birthed in my mind's eye. This is my oath to myself and to all who may find a moment of beauty or mystery in my work. Let your mind too be challenged by what is uniquely yours, your mind and your vision. No one on this earth has your view and no one can tell you what you feel is wrong because it belongs to you and you alone. Challenge the world and its perceived notions of beauty... yourself, as only you can!"

See the feature article on Nickola - a further insight.