About Nicky

Nicky Liebenberg is a South African fine artist. She has been working independently for over twenty years in various mediums, particularly graphic media. She obtained a National Higher Diploma in Fine art from Wits Technikon (1996) (Mastering in the Art of Drawing) Qualifying with distinction and merit and was awarded the silver medal for excellence. In 2005 she obtained an advanced diploma in Visual Arts and Art History from Unisa, qualifying with distinction. She has lectured in the art of drawing at the National school of the Arts (JHB)  and the Technikon Witwatersrand. Liebenberg has participated in numerous group exhibitions including “Gender Rights Rites, Rewrites” at the Gertrude Posel Gallery, Johannesburg, Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Bloemfontein, and “Gynaka Women Artists”, Carolus Magnus college of Art, Antwerp, Belgium, and held two solo exhibitions in Johannesburg. Her work was selected for the ABSA finalist Atelier Competion in 2005 and 2006 and she was a top twenty finalist in the Thami Mnyele Art competition 2021.

Her subject matter is strongly correspondent to her personal spiritual journey, and her themes are used metaphorically to depict spiritual realities. In earlier works, objects that disperse, traverse, and navigate water are used as ‘handles’ to navigate spiritual or metaphysical concepts. Her Christian faith has been and continues to play a significant role in her choice of subject matter and execution.

“I’m passionate about drawing and always want to incorporate it into my work, whether it be charcoal, ink or dry- point etching on softer aluminum plates, as this allows for faster drawing technique and fluidity of line.”

Cotton thread has a significant role to play in her work, the colors each symbolizing something; red (blood), has positive connotations of acceptance, forgiveness, a ‘covering over’ or ‘washing away’ (As relating to Christian themes of the blood of Christ) Blue has negative associations of shame, loss, failure, death.

Layering and mixed media is a common thread through her work and each layer is another voice or language, somewhat like the layered instruments in an orchestra each communicating a specific frequency. “The idea is to create the perfect, layered symphony of meaning in each work, but also allow for the viewers own exploration and interpretation”.

Her more recent works deal with issues of faith & womanhood, as well as issues of the heart, physically and metaphorically. The heart organ is prevalent. “I use the heart a lot because it’s a vital organ, both in a physical and spiritual/ moral sense. “The issues of life flow from it and because of this, it is important to guard it”.