Studio Visit – Nicole Patel

Recently we spent an afternoon visiting our friend and talented artist, Nicole Patel, at her home in Nyack, about an hour from New York City. We came back feeling inspired and reinvigorated from the studio tour, and not to mention, the fresh upstate air. Here we wanted to share some photos and moments from that special day.

When Nicole’s not visiting the city, she spends her time in a beautiful Victorian home with her husband Sweetu, their son, Kavi, and their dog named Georgia. Works from various stages of Nicole’s career as an artist hang on the walls. One of Nicole’s earliest pieces featuring wide strips of raw-edged fabric hangs on a wall diagonally from a mantle on which sits sculptures and a piece from Nicole’s plaster series. The home is decorated in a style reminiscent of Nicole’s works – minimal and considered. Every object feels intentional.

Drenched in natural sunlight is an alcove that Nicole uses as a studio to create her wall hangings. After seeing the multitude of her sketch models, we get a sense that experimentation is a large part of her process. As we chat, Nicole continuously switches out canvases, changing their orientation and adjusting the threads, perpetually trying to find balance in the work and it’s relationship to the room – a practice that seems to stem from her background in interior design.

Nicole works with various organic materials like muslin, plaster, felt, beeswax and marble to create canvases that hang with a beautiful, tranquil presence. She wraps fine merino wool, hemp, silk and other natural threads around the canvases in grid formations.

We love Nicole’s work because it reminds us of our fundamental human need for a peaceful living environment. Our careful attention to the products we curate for Nalata Nalata is predominantly based on the idea that the objects we bring into our homes should enhance our lives in a harmonious way – this includes everything from the kettle we place on our stovetops to the artwork we hang on our walls. As an artist, Nicole also explores this philosophy in her unique process, creating works that she says, “can hold at once quiet humility and great importance.”

Each thread is placed with consideration and with a creative energy that flows from a very meditative process. As a result, the artwork feels calm, similar to Nicole’s nature. We’ve always felt that works that can convey their maker’s personality gives them a special quality and makes them all the more exceptional.

We were excited to see a few works in progress and the variety of tools Nicole utilizes. The most fascinating being her custom thread making contraption, a device originally designed by Leonardo Da Vinci, that Nicole uses to spin one-of-a-kind cords.

Nicole’s works of art are just as compelling from behind as they reveal her unique process. Using one continuous thread, she wraps it according to a specific pattern and intricately pins it into place with beautiful copper nails.

After the studio tour, Nicole invites us on a stroll to the river nearby, pointing out her favorite houses in the neighborhood and a secluded dock that she frequents.

Nyack is a stunning place. The still river and quiet streets were a reminder that serenity can exist just a short drive away from the concrete jungle. It also gave us insight into the unique lifestyle Nicole has carved out for herself, one that is perfectly in balance with its natural surroundings, much like her works.

Special thanks to Nicole for the memorable tour.
Exclusive works by Nicole Patel are available at Nalata Nalata. Inquirer at [email protected]

Written by Angélique Chmielewski

Angélique Chmielewski

September 26, 2015

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