Growing up, my dad collected strange objects like old trophies, wigs, broken tents, mincers and toothbrushes. I would go with him and my grandparents on Sunday mornings to buy junk from car boot sales and then we would hide this stuff from my mum when we came home. I liked collecting and making displays with objects and I loved playing with dolls. When we moved house as a child; I took everything I owned and filled the stairs with every one of my dolls and toys and took a photo of me sitting amongst this display as if I was a part of it. Now I collect objects bought from ebay, charity shops, poundlands, car boot sales and sometimes found on the street and I appropriate these to make sculpture and installations that often reference my life via childhood memories, observations, fears, fantasies and dreams as an adult.

I am interested in play and childhood and the overwhelming emotions of being a child; namely the exaggerated fears, confusion, embarrassments and humour. My work is designed to appeal to children as well as adults. I like the world between fiction and reality that I can create as an adult. There is a dark underbelly; partly hidden, partly accentuated by the humour and playfulness in my work. Jokes are often used by Liverpool people to conceal and overcome problems and similarly the materials I use often reflect this; cheap brightly coloured ‘happy’ objects that are bought in poor, often troubled areas across Britain.

‘Through the use of found objects Nicki constructs pop-cultural tableaux which navigate the border between glam­our and horror. Self-reference and self-harm, seduction and consternation all lie close together. The childlike and playful is ripped away to reveal an individual and socio-cultural pathology of pop-culture.’

Dr Hannes Uhlemann, Galerie Hunchentoot, Berlin, 2008.