Richard Nicoll

Remembering designer and friend Richard Nicoll. We visited him during happy times at his East London home back in 2012. As featured in RUSSH Issue 46.

“To me home means somewhere to escape and truly be myself,” says Richard Nicoll, as he soaks up a rare patch of morning May sunshine in the garden of his East London home, shared with a best friend. “It’s always a laugh,” he continues, stepping over a patch of wild Bluebells to reach his back stairs, “regardless of what else is going on in my work, or personal life.”

“The painting was bought by my mum in the 70s for my dad in New Zealand. It reminded her of him. It’s called Self Improvement Plan and features two identical faces except one has the addition of lipstick, rouge and eyeshadow. Maybe she knew something about Dad that I don’t. It’s actually quite a progressive piece as it’s airbrushed in a style that became popular much later in the 80s, and used to hang in our toilet when I was a kid. It scared me then but I think it’s funny now.”



Inside Nicoll’s two-storey Victoria Park home, is an artfully curated mix of found objects and souvenirs from his wanderlust travels. “I’ve been gathering for years, but never stayed anywhere long enough to settle,” he explains, while giving the grand tour. “So on moving here, I created my first actual home. It was painted bright yellow with hideous things everywhere when we saw it I loved the layout and the actual building, so painted it white and made it my own; I guess it’s a work in progress. Last week I finished painting a couple of Wedgwood blue feature walls, which have made the decoration look more considered. I guess it will evolve…”





“My bedroom is kind of my schizophrenically clean sanctuary compared with the rest of the house. I’m sentimental so I like lots of visual memories around me but when I’m going to sleep, or really relaxing I need peace and order. My wardrobe is also colour-coded … Somebody shoot me.”



“A wise owl given to me by a childhood friend.”

“The plastic animals/dinosaurs were part of a Secret Santa gift that was received one Christmas dinner with friends.”



Now surveying his busy mantelpiece, he singles out an eagle poster from a Collier Schorr exhibition, and adds, “I don’t have enough shelving space for my art/photography book habit so some have to be left in piles wherever there is room.” He picks one off the top of a pile, “A gift from the Cerruti press officer for my birthday when I was working there in Paris,” he explains, before opening Michael Clark’s signed retrospective. “One of my prize possessions … By one of my all-time heroes.” He straightens up the stack, and adds with a smile, “Maybe the next stage will be the reduction period?”





“I’m drawn to clusters of white objects and this particular one consists of Margiela Russian dolls and Jonathan Adler ceramics in front of a Michael Clark Oh My Goddess tour program.”





“A crazy jacket that I bought when I was about 20 from Portobello Market. I like it because it’s so absurd. This hangs in our toilet because It’s a bit of an eyesore but it’s something fun to look at while pissing.”





“My good friend from school in Perth, Carl Fraunschiel gave me this mirror imaged angel for my birthday one year. It’s by an Australian artist friend of his but his name escapes me unfortunately.”