Nicola White

I am a self-taught artist and a River Thames Mudlark. My work is inspired by found objects old and new which I pick up whilst mudlarking along the Thames foreshore in London.

I use a variety of glass, driftwood, metal, pottery and plastic in my work.
At low tide, many fragments of history are revealed along the banks of the Thames. Some of these pieces are hundreds of years old, and each has their own secret story. It’s the mystery behind these found objects that inspire me. Did this fragment of blue glass come from an old perfume bottle, or from a Victorian pharmacy? Which World War II soldier lost his button? Was this fragment of wood from a wrecked boat, or an ancient pier? What tales these objects could tell if they could speak. I love to put these forgotten, once loved, or discarded items back together, and give them a new purpose in a piece of art.

My aim is for people to look beyond the superficial nature of my work and to embark upon a journey which explores the history and beauty of the individual fragments from which a piece is made. For example, each Thames Glass Fish is made up of many stories that we will never know about. My inspirations include the artists Alfred Wallis, Guy Taplin, Margaret Mellis and all those who see beauty in something used and thrown away and can breathe new life into it!

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