FBA Futures 2015
Mall Galleries, London, 2015
MILK, Newcastle Upon - Tyne, 2016
Art With a Heart, Manchester, 2016
Saatchi New Sensation, 2016
'The Newcastle born artist Nicholas Permain first came to public's attention after winning the Hix award in 2013. The competition was judged by some of the biggest names on the British art scene: Mark Hix, Charlie Phillips, Edward Lucie-Smith, Miranda Donovan, Niru Ratan and Tracey Emin. Subsequently, permain featured in the first edition of the Cock n' Bull gallery's magazine which was given out at Freize London 2013.
The piece that caught the attention and the imagination of the judging panel was ''Cord Pull'', an 8.1x7.2cm oil painting on dibond aluminium. The judges were intrigued and drawn in by this tiny piece, commenting on both the skill of the painting and the choice of subject and size.
''Cord Pull'' is typical of Permain's current work, which both creates and breaks narratives. We are presented with an object, but in it's isolation we are uninformed by it's surroundings. The objects often transmit a precarious and urgent feeling. Removed from function, the object lies dormant- without use or purpose, yet with an underlying state of menace.
The small paintings, placed together become almost like a flattened display in a cabinet of curiosities. They are like cut-outs in moments of history, re-laced and waiting to become part of the present time. There is a sense that what we are seeing on the painted surface is only a suggestion of the whole history.' "
Rhiannon Butler-Silvey (Cock n' Bull Gallery, London)