Richard Nott trained as a fashion designer and worked with Valentino in Rome before co-founding the fashion company Workers for Freedom with his partner Graham Fraser. After selling the company in 2000, leaving the world of fashion behind, he was able to fulfil a lifelong ambition to become a painter.
The first inspiration for the work came from the National Trust garden he looked after. His first exhibition Flowers in Black in 2003 was a sell out.
Respect for and enjoyment of all aspects of clothing led to a series of paintings inspired by clothing held in major museums and private collections around the world.
Recently the work has developed in a more figurative direction dealing with concealment, confrontation and disguise.Works from various shows and commissions hang in private houses internationally.
"Responding to a feeling of nostalgia for clothing I initially embarked on a series of paintings inspired by the work of the fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga, mostly in archive.
Booking several time-limited study sessions, I made drawings and took photographs of the clothes which gave me time to think about the garments and the elements I wanted to include in the paintings. I was able to examine not just the outside but the inside as well, to see how they were made and the quality of the craftsmanship. These appointments led to other reserve garment collections in the museum.
Preparing for the major exhibition of clothing paintings which were shown at Browse and Darby in Cork Street, London in 2007, I expanded my inspiration sources. The Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and the Court Collection at Kensington Palace enabled me to work with clothing from other 20th century designers and garments from all over the world.
I have since worked with the collection of kaftans in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul and some collections held privately.
In 2010 I moved to the south coast and the light and bustle have moved my work into a more figurative and reflective direction."
i gigi General Store Cafe is a regular venue for exhibitions of work by local artists.