What's On

In Good Company: Nicole Farhi + Lucille Lewin

Two Sculpture Exhibitions
1 July 2023 — 24 September 2023

In Good Company is a celebration of creativity and female friendship from sculptors Lucille Lewin and Nicole Farhi.

These names may be familiar from fashion – Lucille founded the brand Whistles whilst Nicole was Head Designer at French Connection and founder of the eponymous Nicole Farhi label. When each of these women chose to leave their long, successful careers in fashion, they both then chose to become full-time sculptors. The exhibition has been organised in association with Selina Skipwith, an independent art advisor and curator.

This exhibition is from the In Good Company series, a project born from the Coronavirus pandemic, which encouraged friends Nicole, Lucille, and Selina to come together and mount their own exhibitions. Selina Skipwith says “In Good Company is a very special exhibition as it shows the work of two amazing women who have both forged new successful careers as sculptors following their previous successes in the fashion world. Lucille and Nicole are an inspiration to women of all ages thinking about starting new careers, not necessarily in the arts, whatever stage they are in life.”

Nicole Farhi’s Heads includes over 100 hand painted miniature busts which have been made over a 5-year period. These figures include a series of 20th century novelists and playwrights, leading voices in 20th century female liberation, and busts of those pioneers that have shaped human history for the better.

To gain admission to the gallery, I decided you had to have had a radical effect on human history, either by your example, your thinking or by your actions. That effect had to be for the good.

That means some of my pioneers are human activists, Rosa Parks for instance who really did change America. Some are musicians, some artists, philosophers, film makers and great exemplary sports figures who made as much impact by their character as by their technique.

Over the years I have sculpted  a multitude of portraits and I enjoy finding ways through the modelling in clay and now by painting them, to reveal the character, the presence of the sitter, their energy, their humanity.”

Nicole Farhi

In Lucille Lewin’s exhibition Second Nature, her organic sculptural pieces explore the collision between nature and humanity and its potentially disastrous impact. The work in part has been made in response to her first visit to the historic Welbeck estate in 2022, and learning about The 5th Duke of Portland, his construction of complex underground rooms and tunnels and the Greendale Oak.

The Greendale Oak serves as a metaphor for the dangers of AI – just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

Second Nature follows on from two earlier bodies of Lewin’s work Alchemical Bodies and The Secret Life of a Pea: Post Apocalyptic Regeneration which was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

“My work has its roots in the 18th century, beginning at the origins of European experiments with porcelain, and the alchemists who were incarcerated to invent it. My prompt came from a spice dish made in 1730, in the V & A. Researching this period introduced me to the culture and politics of the age of Enlightenment and I was struck by the similarities between that age and this, of conflict chaos and political uncertainty, but huge advances in science and technology and culture”

Lucille Lewin

Visitor Information

See this exhibition in the Gallery.

Free Entry.


Nicole Farhi recently spoke to John Wilson on the BBC’s radio show This Cultural Life.

Hear about her fascinating career; including trips to Parisian couture shows with her glamourous aunt Visa, work with the fashion brand French Connection, and sculpture under the mentorship of Sir Eduardo Paolozzi.


Lucille Lewin

Lucille Lewin is a South African born British artist working in porcelain and glass. She started with a career in fashion as founder and Creative Director of Whistles, running it for 35 years before selling in 2001 and moving to work as Creative Director of Liberty. Then, Lewin left fashion for a career in Art with a Diploma in Fine Art and Ceramics from CityLit in 2014. In 2017 she received her Masters in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art. She won the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramic Prize in her last year of study.

Lewin has shown at the V&A (2019), Christies (2017), Connolly’s (2018), Messums Wiltshire (2017) and Collect at the Saatchi Gallery (2018-2020). Her work is held in public and private collections internationally, including the prestigious Doddington Hall collection.


Nicole Farhi

Nicole Farhi studied art and fashion in Paris in the late 1960s. Her career as a fashion designer took off so quickly that she put art aside and concentrated on fashion. However, twelve years later, having started her own business and feeling restless, she decided she wanted to return to making art. She trained with Jean Gibson (1935-1991) throughout the 1980s and was mentored by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924–2005) after meeting in 1985.

For over 30 years Farhi had to fit sculpting around fashion. In 2012, two years after the Nicole Farhi label was sold, Farhi showed her last collection and then was free to walk away from fashion to sculpt full-time. Her debut exhibition was at Bowman Gallery, London in 2014 and since then she has gone on to have several successful solo exhibitions including at The Fine Art Society, Edinburgh and London; Beaux Arts, London; CCA Galleries International, Jersey and her first museum exhibition at Gainsborough’s House, Sudbury in 2019. Farhi is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors.



Selina Skipwith

Selina Skipwith is an Independent Art Advisor and Curator. She was the former Director and Keeper of Art of The Fleming Collection 1996-2014, overseeing the creation of The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation, and The Fleming Collection gallery in Mayfair, which opened to the public in January 2002.

She has curated numerous art exhibitions in the UK and abroad, she writes and lectures regularly and advises a number of private and corporate clients. Skipwith is a member of the Association of Professional Art Advisors and is a Trustee of Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Trust.



Top images: Enhancing Nature by Lucille Lewin. Courtesy Sylvain Deleu. / Heads by Nicole Farhi. Courtesy Iona Wolff.
Profile images for Nicole Farhi and Selina Skipwith: courtesy Iona Wolff.
Profile image for Lucille Lewin: courtesy Ian Macaulay.