Nicola Rae


I graduated with a degree in Fine Art from
Nottingham University in 2008, having studied
part-time as a mature student. I like to work with
collected fragments: paper, textiles, photographs
and natural materials, to produce work with a
narrative element, which fluctuates between the
fictional and non-fictional. I have exhibited with
two artists’ collectives: ArtSpace Loughborough
and Socket. My work as a professional librarian in a
historic library has informed my practice as an artist.

The work shows a web of water sources in
nineteenth century Nottingham, at a time when
many still relied on wells and pumps for their water
supply. A physical web is created with threads,
linking the water sources together and referencing
the lace and hosiery factories of the time.
Incorporated as a mock narrative element are pages
from a contemporary ‘pastoral’ novel, telling a tale of
Robin Hood and Merrie England – but written in the
same era as the mass industrialisation shown by the
maps. Thus the idealised past of Sherwood Forest
is overlaid by the expanding reality of Victorian