Mystery and colour (and a sinister streak) collide at artist Nicola McCartney's exhibition at Brent's The Stables Gallery and Arts Centre - her first solo show.
The 25-year-old Fulham resident's work at the venue in Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill Lane, Dollis Hill, comprises 10 pieces, including paintings and sculptures.
Nicola was first approached by the gallery at her graduate show in 2007, as they felt her interesting individual pieces, showing everyday, independent women, when joined together would make a powerful collection.
She said: "I am interested in the independence of strong women, and am fascinated by the sinister side of children's dolls and the darker side of fairy tales. All my paintings display different women with different stories."
Nicola's sculptures consist of everyday objects created to shock and question. Her work uses bursts of different colours, about which she says: "I am fascinated by every colour and like to play around with the glitter and colourful side of art.
I like to take different colours and combine them with different mediums."
Some of her pieces are inspired by the film Don't Look Now, which she believes is reflected in the more sinister side of the women in her paintings.
She says: "I am inspired by artists like Claude Cahun and Frida Kahlo.
"They are strong independent women artists, who represent people I really admire as, despite tough times, they created such great art pieces. These two artists show two strong women doing it for themselves."
Nicola's work presents ideas collected from different times, with feminism represented throughout. She said: "I believe my work cannot be fully answered and holds some kind of mystery, as there are questions even I cannot fully answer.
"I like to take different parallels of the universe and create a darker side underneath."
* See Nicola McCartney's exhibition at The Stables Gallery and Arts Centre in Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill Lane, from today (Thursday) until Sunday, December 7, between 11am and 5pm. Admission is free. Contact the gallery for more information on 020 8452 8655.