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Nicky Hirst named official artist for the 2019 General Election

13 November 2019

Image of UK Parliament portcullis

Nicky Hirst has been named as Parliament's official Election Artist for the 2019 General Election.

During the General Election Nicky will observe and follow the campaign trail, before creating a unique piece of art for the Parliamentary Art Collection. The work will respond to the main themes and outcome of the election, drawing from her experiences across the UK.

Working in a variety of media, her interests include layers of history, people and places. Her inspiration and source material comes from a mix of observation, conversation and found objects.

"Honest and transparent"

Born in Nottingham and educated at Maidstone College of Art and KIAD, Nicky has exhibited in numerous places, including at Courtauld Gallery, Coventry Biennial, Exeter Phoenix, Imperial War Museum, Royal Academy of Arts and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

She called her appointment a "true honour", stating:

"I want to be as honest and transparent as possible about what I see as I immerse myself in this world. In my work, I'm often more interested in questions than in answers and I see my role as an artist to point at things and further examine processes.”

"A great choice"

The official Election Artist is appointed by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art, which aims to develop the Parliamentary Art Collection by acquiring works that depict issues and individuals of particular historical significance to Parliament.

Melissa Hamnett, Head of Heritage Collections and Curator of Works of Art, UK Parliament, called Nicky a "great choice". Melissa added that:

"Elections are vital moments in the political history of the nation, and have been the subject of paintings and engravings since the 18th century. Nicky will continue the tradition, illustrating not only politics, but the society and culture of our time."

  • Images of Nicky's process will be posted on Instagram at @electionartist2019 throughout the campaign.
  • Nicky is the sixth official Election Artist. Previous artists were Cornelia Parker (2017), Adam Dant (2015), Simon Roberts (2010), David Godbold (2005) and Jonathan Yeo (2001).  

Image: Muster by Nicky Hirst, ©Lucid Plane