Interview
Nick Waplington



Based between London and New York, Nick is frequently traversing the Atlantic, but his adolescence was spent here, during London’s post punk era, skateboarding at the Southbank Centre’s undercroft and creating his own fanzines. Sensibilities of the time have stayed with him well into adulthood: Nick is sharp, resolutely independent- and funny.
In Nick’s Hackney studio we’re flanked by pillars of stacked vinyl and an imposing bookshelf, full of artist books, exhibition catalogues and classic literature. He has an impressive back catalogue of books himself, over 20 to date, with several more following soon. Nick found early success with the publication of Living Room, a project he began when only 17 years old, portraying families residing in the same Nottingham housing estate as his paternal relatives. Always looking for inspiration from the world around him, his intimate colour imagery was scorned by a traditional college faculty, but Nick characteristically broke convention when it exploded years later, the book contributing to the radical development of contemporary British photography.

Nick has always carved out opportunity and sought creative challenges, as such, his is an immensely diverse practice. Following an expletive-filled epiphany at the 1993 Venice Biennale, Nick sought to diversify his output, proceeding to exhibit photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures despite resisting traditional gallery representation. Nick’s process is porous. Constantly revisiting previous work, his ideas exist in parallel, on top of and across all projects. Whilst creating work in Israel, Nick was simultaneously travelling back to the London studio of close friend Alexander McQueen to produce a series of images which became known as Working Process. Concerned with his own legacy, Alexander tasked Nick with capturing the creation of what he deemed his last collection as a young man.
Nick himself is older, and wiser, whilst his dynamic 30 year career shows no sign of slowing anytime soon. Families are a recurring theme in Nick’s work, whether found in a Nottingham housing estate, or residing in the West Bank. Now with a young family of his own, he has turned his attention to documenting their daily lives. Nick’s focus, it appears, has come full circle.

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