Gray Nicol graduated from Auckland University school of Fine Art (MFA (Hons)) in 1977, where he studied under the tutelage of Jim Allen. During this period he worked with many of New Zealand’s avante-garde, experimenting with video as an artistic medium while also undertaking a number of performance events documented on video, including Construction of a Cube (1977) and Duck Calling (1978).
Following art school he embraced the more traditional disciplines of decorative and architectural sculpture, working on the carved sculpture program at Orakei Marae in Auckland. In 1986 he moved to London to join a carving workshop doing traditional architectural carving for the restoration of 18th Century buildings and joined the British Master Carvers Association in 1989.
Returning to Auckland, he set up a studio workshop for the conservation of historic furniture and frames, and continued with carving and sculptural work. During this period he also made a return to video and performance art, producing a series of films for the New Zealand Film Archive as well as performing a live re-enactment of Duck Calling (2008).
Since moving to Melbourne in 2012, he has been teaching sculpture and working from a studio in Brunswick. His current focus is on figurative sculptures and is available to take commissions.
1973 - 1977 Auckland University School of Fine Arts, sculpture, with Jim Allen, head of department.
1978 - 1986 Orakei Marae project with sculptor Dennis Conway, head carver and designer.
1987, 1989 workshop of Terry Edgar, London (then president of the British Master Carvers Association)
1989 - 2011 established Gray Nicol Studio, a studio workshop in Auckland for conservation of historic art objects, furniture and frames, sculpture work and design.
2012 - now studio workshop in Melbourne.
Links and press
2018-19 Groundswell: Avant-Garde Auckland 1971-79, Auckland City Art Gallery
2011 Remember Snow, New Zealand Film Archive, Auckland
2010 Twin-set program, Christchurch Art Gallery
2009 New Work, New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington
2008 Screening of five early video works (1977- 78) and live re-enactment of Duck Calling, New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington
2000 Getting to know you, Symposium, Christchurch
1978/79 "NZ Sculptors at Mildura", an Arts Council sponsored traveling group show (video)
"Duck Calling" - performance at the Mildura Biennale, (Australia)
"Sentimental operation" (sculpture) in "Auckland Sculptors and Painters", an Auckland City Art Gallery group show, Auckland
1975 24 hour sculpture/performance for the Auckland City Art Gallery Project program