Nigel Smith

My work lies somewhere between abstraction and symbolism. I think of them as ‘dreamscapes’—part memory, part imagination.

I usually begin with images of natural elements such as flora and fauna or figurative elements. The finished works are sometimes purely abstract, sometimes more representational. I think the most successful ones have a mysterious, hard to read quality and a feeling of impermanence.

The process is as important as the subject to me. I apply multiple layers over a long period of time, scratching and sanding back to reveal temporarily hidden elements that then inspire further layers to be added. I like the juxtaposition of random marks made by dripping, spraying etc in conjunction with more considered techniques and details.

My main contemporary influences are Cruz Jimenez, Darren Waterston, Peter Doig, Gerhard Richter, Max Gimblett, James Jean, Takashi Murakami, Fiona Rae and John Walsh.

My strongest historical influences are the Abstract Expressionists, Monet, J.M.W. Turner and Chinese and Japanese ink painting.

There is also an element of mythology and fantasy in my work, probably as a result of being obsessed with Roger Dean and prog. rock LPs in my youth!

In 2016 I returned to live in the UK after nearly 20 years living in New Zealand and I’m currently looking for galleries in the UK to represent my work.

In 2011 I was privileged to study briefly with Max Gimblett. I studied with Andrew Barns-Graham from 2010-2013 and Cruz Jimenez from 2013-2016. I also studied Chinese brush painting with Wei Lin Ha.



Kent, UK 1965



Graphic Design HND – East Ham (newham) College 1988 Graphic Design Diploma – Loughborough Art College 1985



SELECTED FOR Loughborough OPEN 2017
SOCK Gallery, Loughborough

Ellerington Gallery 2017

Art house 2017
(open house art trail) Clarendon Park/Stoneygate, Leicester

Depot Artsace, Devenport, Auckland, New Zealand

Estuary Award 2015 Selected finalist
Uxbridge Gallery, Howick, Auckland, NZ

‘Solo showcase’ – March 2015
Te Tuhi, Pakuranga, Auckland, NZ

WInner, oil category: Open Award 2014
Te Tuhi, Pakuranga, Auckland, NZ

Group shows:
RAW5 – NOV 2015
Studio One, Ponsonby, Auckland, NZ

Group Show – March 2014
Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland, NZ

Three Worlds Collide – Feb 2014
Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland, NZ

Strike 2 – March 2014
Depot Artspace, Devonport, Auckland, NZ
Part of a group show for Amnesty International.

Strike – Feb 2013
Museum of the Vernacular, Devonport,
Auckland, NZ

RAW2 – Dec 2012
TF Studio, Auckland, NZ

RAW – Oct 2012
House of Hedone, Auckland, NZ