|Born 17 August 1945 in the Little Karoo, district Calitzdorp, South Africa
Nico went to Warmwater Primary School, an institution of the Congregational Church and proceeded to his secondary school at Morester Senior Secondary School in Oudtshoorn. He completed his final year as an integral part of a theological course which he pursued for two years.
His interest in art was initially inspired by the daily regimen of rural lifestyle, which included the gathering of firewood for the family home. Through this, he became more involved with nature and his surroundings. The shapes and forms of wood and trees made a lasting impression on him. Many of his early drawings and sketches reflect this awareness and illustrate the awakening of his creative urges.
When he eventually found his way to the Cape Peninsula, the desire to give artistic expression to his personal ambitions, led to him meeting with the well-known South African artist, Gregoire Boonzaier. The friendship later inspired Nico. It was Boonzaier who advised Nico to enrol at the Ruth Prowse Art School, which he did in 1972. Here he studied painting under another well-known South African artist, Erik Laubser.
Nico also nurtured the dream of becoming a sculptor. In 1981, he once again enrolled at Ruth Prowse to study sculpture while continuing to paint.
In 1985, he received his diploma and began sculpting full time starting in 1986. In 1988, Nico's hard work and perseverance was rewarded with a scholarship from the British Council to further his studies in sculpture in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Nico acknowledged the contribution made in his early years by Gregoire Boonzaier, who saw the potential in an emerging artist and purchased Nico's work. Boonzaier assisted Nico in securing a 3 month period in 1980, during which he could study with June te Water.
Nico was awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Bellville Eistedford during 1977.
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