Not so firm as faded ink, Nicola Dale, 2015 | Image: Mark Devereux

Not so firm as faded ink

Nicola Dale

Not so firm as faded ink was a touring exhibition by artist Nicola Dale, questioning the potential of knowledge versus the constraint of information. Commissioned and curated by Mark Devereux Projects, the exhibition visited Centrespace Gallery (Bristol) in April before moving on to Arcadecardiff a month later.


Start Date:

End Date:

ArcadeCardiff & Centrespace Gallery

Nicola Dale’s work responded to a recent Metal residency in Shanghai, focusing on its library (2013) and a series of residencies at the National Arts Education Archive at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2014). Her work visualizes the essence of what knowledge is and its transformation into information in a digital age. Through highlighting the ways in which we expect knowledge to be at our fingertips in our fast-paced society, Dale reduces the pace to consider the parallels between the ways we digest knowledge now and how we did so in the past.

Drawing on a wide range of sources including philosophy, science, literature and education; Dale’s responses are brought together through sculpture, installation and performance. Through investigating and testing each choice of material within her work, Dale has established a visual language allowing audiences to question the ways in which we interact with knowledge.

Pieces within the exhibitions work through ideas concerning how our minds are forever trapped by one set of ideologies or another and have no way to escape. How do we break free from these cages, or can we? Dale also considered the impact of new technologies upon the book as the carrier of knowledge. Is the way in which we digest knowledge reliant on the swipe of a touchscreen? Is this a form of Braille?

With work made over the last eighteen-months, Not so firm as faded ink was the largest exhibition of Dale’s practice to date. To conclude the project and this body of work, Dale was in residence for one-week prior to her exhibition at Arcadecardiff, creating a new work (Black Cloud) in response to the gallery space. Complementing the exhibition, Mark Devereux Projects commissioned a new publication featuring notes from the residencies, studio works and final works from the project.

Not so firm as faded ink was funded by Arts Council England and developed, supported and commissioned by Mark Devereux Projects. Nicola Dale was represented by Mark Devereux Projects between 2013-16.

Access & Contact

Arcadecardiff |
Unit 3b Queens Arcade | Queen Street | Cardiff | CF10 2BY

Centrespace Gallery |
6 Leonard Lane | Bristol | BS1 1EA