Curated Essex Artists & Artisans

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Eggshell Art by Nicola Burton

What we are about...

Nicola Burton celebrates the discarded eggshell as a canvas for her vibrant mixed media art. 

Nicola uses the eggshells laid by her free-ranging chickens at home in Essex. Her creative practice starts with hatching, rearing, and rescuing chickens. Nicola collects the eggs from the coop each morning, gently shapes them by hand, and intricately paints them using a kaleidoscope of colour palettes and mixed media techniques. Nicola’s artistic work with eggshells began as self-care when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Finding a vital, restorative connection with nature through tending to her chicken flock, she began to reclaim their discarded eggshells and use them to explore her thoughts on living with a mental health condition. 

Nicola’s art captures the resilience and beauty arising from our broken places. She draws inspiration from the Japanese art of kintsugi, exploring the creative possibilities arising specifically from fractures and repairs; and the philosophy of wabi sabi, embracing the value of those things which are flawed, transient, discarded, and incomplete.Held in the safe permanence of a frame, the eggshells become talismans of balance between strength and fragility.

Bringing eggshells inside to light up our indoor lives gives them a beautiful permanence, serving as a daily coloursplashed reminder that perceived imperfections can be the most wonderful strengths.

Embracing a simpler way of life, Nicola seeks to collaborate ethically and sustainably with our natural world – and her work with eggshells explores a narrative in which humans and nature can heal each other.

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