Born in South Shields (North East England), Nicola has been performing and showing work nationally and internationally since graduating with a BA in Fine Art from Northumbria University in 2006. In the same year she met Kris Canavan, now husband, and has since created a series of collaborations which test the constraints and boundaries of their intimate relationship. After giving birth to her son in 2008, Nicola was diagnosed with with Myalgic Encephalopathy which effects the Brain and Central Nervous System, the illness nearly always results in a severe reduction in a person’s ability to cope with all aspects of normal daily living, resulting in the artist feeling smothered by her own body while the mind is forced to stay still.
While Canavan investigates the paradoxical complexity of living with an 'invisible' illness, she also explores the feminine, political and the spiritual body which are interwoven in personal experience. Through performance, installation and photography, Canavan acknowledges and resists the sacred and divine by entering the flesh and installing symbol through the modification and manipulation of her body, she searches for ‘Self’ through abstraction and ritual to create a domain which is immeasurable without the consensus of an audience.
There is an inherent contradiction between the physical demands Canavan places upon her body and the stillness that is matched by the slow passage of time. As the words unfold and the relationship between body and identity are defined, she slowly untangles the woven intricacies of her mind to seek solitude in the images that she creates.
Nicola has created live performance within such Live Art programmes as Inbetween Time, Arnolfini (Bristol), ]performance s p a c e[, London, Bodily Functions (Cork) and Momentum Festival (Brussels),
Nicola Canavan is an amino associate artist.