Selected works by Nika Neelova

Nika Neelova
Principles Of Surrender


Burnt timber, bell clappers cast in wax infused with ash, rope

250 x 150 x 300 cm

Nika Neelova makes sculptural installations out of reclaimed architectural features and burnt timber. Disassociated from their original use and re-composed in her new arrangements, these old beams, casts and worn ropes exude their own original energy as well as their heritage. They have become something other than what they were, while retaining a feeling of oneiric repetition – claiming a life of their own and a new purpose, but still clawing onto a past one.

Principles of Surrender is constructed out of six burnt wood posts which, with its slight cantilevers, support beams and mortise and tenon joints, resembles age-old vernacular architecture. Tied to the platform created by these posts are huge bell clappers which the artist has cast in wax infused with ash, creating an enormous congregation of bell pulls.

Nika Neelova
Scaffolds Today, Monuments Tomorrow


Burnt and waxed wood, paper and ink

200 x 150 x 400 cm

But there is no bell to ring, because this structure is not a bell tower. Yet both of these images, and what they can connote, hover around as poetic associations within the same space. Similarly, Scaffolds Today, Monuments Tomorrow distressingly reads both like a seaside pier and a platform used to hang people.

Neelova’s works stand as odd, transparent altars to their elements’ origins, made up of elements that have survived despite being charred. They open up the distorted manner in which the past is read by the present, and what she refers to as “the historical memory that is embedded in materials.”

Text by Lupe Nùñez-Fernández

Nika Neelova's Biography

Nika Neelova
Born in 1987, Moscow, Russia
Lives and works in London, UK


Involuntary Fractions, Jarmuschek+Partner, Berlin, Germany
Monuments, Charlie Smith, London

Carpet IV, Scheltema Center, Leiden, NL


RBS Bursary Award, Royal British Society of Sculptors, London
Gaiety Is The Most Outstanding Feature Of The Soviet Union, Saatchi Gallery, London
Christie's Charity Auction, The Crisis Commission, Christie's, London
The Crisis Commission, Somerset House, London
RAW Rotterdam, ArtFair, Charlie Smith Gallery, Rotterdam

Reworking Memories, Federica Schiavo Gallery, Rome , Italy
The Future Can Wait presents: Polemically Small, Works on Paper, Charlie Smith, London
The Future Can Wait, Victoria House, London
Charlie Sierra Lima, Charlie Smith, London, UK
3 Worlds in 1, London International, Klaipeda, Lithuania
Paris Fashion Week, QASIMI Homme, Paris, France
Volta 7, Jarmuschek + Partner GAllery, Basel, Switzerland
The Future Can Wait Presents: Polemically Small, Works On Paper, Torrance Art Museum, US
London Art Fair, Charlie Smith, London

Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4’s New Sensations, Boswall House, Cornawall Terrace, London
The Future Can Wait (curated by Zavier Ellis & Simon Rumley) Shoreditch Town Hall, London
Young Gods, Charlie Smith Gallery, London, UK
Slade Degree Show, Slade School of Art, London, UK
The Grove, Public Art Commission, Keukenhof, Lisse, NL
Arena in collaboration with Diana Taylor, Woburn Research Center, London, UK

Interim Show, Woburn Galleries, London, UK
Residency at the Merzbarn Foundation, Lake District, UK
Memento, Galerie 37, Haarlem, NL
Attitudes to a Miss, Christus Triumphatorkerk, The Hague, NL

Paraat #4 (Best of graduates 2008), RonMandos Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
Graduates Exhibition, Royal Academy of Fine Art, The Hague, NL
KunstVlaai (ArtPie), Amsterdam, (exhibiting with Stichting Artes), NL
Carpet III, Dance piece, Performance, Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, NL
Untitled: Artist in building, Group Show, Former KPN building, The Hague, NL

The Catacombes, The hague, NL
Greetings From.., Kwartel, Kijkduin
Parasite, The Hague, NL