Nancy Fouts - inspiration & surrealism

I had the pleasure of meeting modern-day surrealist Nancy Fouts recently and the privilege of visiting her London studio (see gallery below). She truly is an inspirational person and her art encapsulates a genius that's rarely found these days.

Her work frequently explore themes of time, religious iconography, nature and humour. Typically working with everyday objects, injecting them with unique wit and manipulating them. Born in America, Nancy has lived most of her life in the UK, graduating from Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art in the 1960s.

Sir Peter Blake said, "I love the work of Nancy Fouts, she makes the everyday object extraordinary".

In the 1960s Fouts co-founded the pioneering design and model-making company Shirt Sleeve Studio, creating ad campaigns for the Tate Gallery and album covers for significant bands including Jethro Tull and Steeleye Span. Examples of her works are to be found in private homes and established collections across the globe, including that of the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Her work has been exhibited alongside the likes of Damien Hirst, and praised by Banksy. In an interview with The Independent she said: "My father was a beachcomber. He used to find driftwood and drag it back and say 'Look you see these charging horses?' So my inspiration came from there - that and his way of talking. He'd say: 'That kid's legs are short, but they're reaching the ground'. You see how that's Surrealist? Then kids and the beautiful things they say. They have a fresh way of looking at things. So I try to be naïve all the time. While being sophisticated at the same time, of course."

I recently had the honour of exhibiting my taxidermy assemblage piece 'Remembrance' alongside Nancy Fouts' work at the Contemporary Vanitas exhibition curated by Lee Sharrock and Hamish Jenkinson at the Lights of Soho gallery.

You can see a selection of Nancy's recent work in the gallery below, and she is exhibiting in the 'Daydreaming with Stanley Kubrick' show at Somerset House in London alongside Polly Morgan, Sarah Lucas, Haroon Mirza & Anish Kapoor, Joseph Kosuth, Nathan Coley and many others until August 24th.