A graduate of the University for the Creative Arts who creates marvellously magical paper sculptures has been named the Surrey Artist of the Year 2023 in a ceremony at Farnham’s New Ashgate Gallery.

Lucy Dorothy Nichols won both the public vote and the vote of judges to win the prestigious prize, which includes a bursary of £1,000, a solo show at the New Ashgate Gallery, and a winner’s stand at the Surrey Art Fair.

Lucy is a paper and textile artist, creating paper sculptures with a playful feel and a strong sense of narrative. The two paper sculptures exhibited are from Lucy’s paper bird series.

Rush Hour in the Skies follows two groups of birds as they fly across the sky on their way to work and to drop off their young at school. The paper sculpture The Bird Hotel in the Sky (pictured), in contrast to this, is a calm haven for those birds that get a little tired as they fly across the Atlantic on their quest to find sunnier climes.

Starting in 2009, the Surrey Artist of the Year competition is run in partnership between the New Ashgate Gallery in Waggon Yard, Farnham, and Surrey Artists Open Studios. It celebrates local quality art and craft as voted for by the public during open studio visits. The top-scoring artists come together for a programme of events.

During the showcase exhibition at the New Ashgate Gallery, members of the public are encouraged to vote for their favourite artist.

The artist with the most votes from the public and the judging panel will be named Surrey Artist of the Year 2023.

This year more than 500 people cast their vote between September 22 and October 27.

This year’s judging panel consisted of Cllr Alan Earwaker, The Mayor of Farnham, Caitlin Heffernan, Surrey Artists Open Studios, Pippa Hufton, Farnham World Craft Town Coordinator, and Carol Cordrey, The Farnham, Woking, Guildford and Surrey Downs Magazines. 

View Lucy’s entries here: https://www.newashgate.org.uk/shop_artists/9992/c/507/lucy-dorothy-nichols/paper