Gemma Nelson was born 1984, in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She moved to London in 2003 where she attended the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and graduated in 2007.
In 2007, Nelson’s paintings were selected by judges Sir Peter Blake and Tim Marlow in the Nationwide Mercury Art Prize culminating in a show at the Horse Hospital in London. The following year Nelson was selected for Charles Saatchi and Channel 4’s 4 New Sensations, leading to international acclaim and a show at Laure Genillard in London with Matt Franks. In 2008 Nelson was selected by Richard Billingham, Ceal Floyer and Ken Lum for Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibiting her work at the Liverpool Biennial Capital of Culture and Club Row in London.
In February 2009 Gemma Nelson was asked to provide the front cover artwork for a-n magazine prompting high profile shows in London, notably the Saatchi Gallery and internationally in Paris and Temple Bar in Dublin. Since 2010 Gemma Nelson has been represented by VEGAS in East London and had her first solo show, Hello Carousel with them in July 2011. She has shown work with them internationally in Amsterdam and Brussels as well as group exhibitions in London. In 2011 Gemma Nelson was selected to exhibit work at the Dulwich Picture Gallery Bicentenary Exhibition.
Gemma Nelson currently lives and works in London.
Feminist Artist Statement
Highly obsessive and organic in construction, Gemma Nelson’s paintings weave like cells, creating delicate chaotic tapestries in response to various themes such as female sexuality, fairytales and notions of webbing and nets. In other works patterning and totemic tattoos are very strong influences. Using Indian inks and mixed media on canvas, her paintings are high pitched in colour, creating illusionary spaces, surfaces and worlds that are both resonant and abstract. Nelson’s paintings are objects of condensed time, also suggesting disruption, mutation and beauty.