Artist and educator Jacqueline Nicholls was born into a Jewish family in Nottingham, England in 1971. She initially studied architecture at Leeds Metropolitan University, graduating in 1992, before going on to train as a medical illustrator. Later she attended the Byam Shaw School of Art to study Fine Art, 1997, also studying at the London College of Printing, 2001, and for an MA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, which she completed in 2020. Nicholls’ work as a fine artist uses a variety of craft based techniques such as embroidery, textiles, dressmaking, print, and drawing and explores traditional Jewish concepts in non-traditional ways employing stereotypical feminine crafts to investigate patriarchal traditions, resulting in a creative tension between her feminist, ethnic, and religious identities. Her work has been shown in numerous exhibitions both group and solo across the globe, including the United States, Italy, Israel, Austria. Notable shows include the Ben Uri Out of Chaos:100 Years of Ben Uri exhibition, 2015, and Sacrifice, the Jewish Museum, London, 2015.
Nicholls has worked on a number of key projects, including the mentoring of eight artists to produce a response to the original 1629 Venice Haggadah, and their experience of contemporary Venice, in 2015, as Head Artist for the New Venice Haggadah, commissioned by Beit Venezia. She also worked with staff from the Hebrew Manuscripts Department at the British Library, developing a series of drawings inspired by beasts in the marginalia of Hebrew manuscripts in 2016 and was artist-in-residence with the Manchester University Jewish Studies Department, working on their 50 Jewish Objects project in 2019. As well as teaching at the London School of Jewish studies, Nichols is also Arts and Culture Programmer at the Jewish Community Centre London, JW3, where her role includes hosting the Art Salon which is a forum exploring different themes with contemporary art and artists, relating them to a Jewish context.
Jacqueline Nicholls currently lives and works in London as an artist, educator and arts & culture programmer. Her work features in private and public collections including the Ben Uri Collection and Royal College of Art.