Nicky Risley

Born and brought up in Kenya, East Africa. Daughter of an ‘x’ District Commissioner (DC) to the British Government in both Tanganyika (Tanzania) and Kenya and grand daughter to one of the pioneers of that ‘Great Land’, Kenya. Her grandfather cleared totally uninhabited bush and forest to grow coffee – at a lower altitude than Karen Blixen’s coffee, so his coffee grew successful. Only coffee takes nine years to mature and it became mature at the height of the slump in 1929. He lost nine years of his own hard labour and all his finances. But that adventurous land had already stolen his heart many years back, as it did his family and grand daughter.
Nicola Risley has travelled extensively throughout Kenya and Tanzania and the African life is “under her skin”. She is fascinated by the Samburu, who are cousins to the Maasai, for their extraordinary attire and natural good looks. She also marvels at the beauty and dignity of the animals, the elephant who quietly but majestically live through each day that they have. Her style is African. It reveals a few wonders of the people, animals and scenery and reflects the colours of that diverse continent.
Nicola now lives and paints near Paris, France, and spends time each year at one or two particular places in East Africa or in the United States, where she lets the wonders and the way of life of the place seep into her system. “You have to feel the heat and dust, smell the whistling dry grass and hear the birds twitter and chatter to obtain the movement and “look” in an animal, person or scenery…”
She exhibited at the Louvre in 2005, in 2008 and in 2014 as well as at UNESCO Paris in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Ol Doniyo Lengai at the Louvre

2005 - First exhibition at the Louvre showing Ol Doinyo Lengai.