Born in 1987, Nettie Wakefield is a British artist, currently based in London. Wakefield used to spend her summers at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, learning the traditional methods of drawing and painting.
She went on to complete a foundation year at Chelsea College of Art, a BA in Art History at Leeds University and then her Master’s degree in Drawing at Wimbledon College of Art, graduating in September 2013.
Without wasting a moment, Wakefield began exhibiting in London in early 2013. She was selected as 1 of 75 artists out of a shortlist of 3000 others for the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize 2013 which was exhibited at the Jerwood Visual Arts Space 2013. In 2014, she went on to touring venues throughout the UK, showcasing her art.
In February 2014, Wakefield held her debut solo show at the Rook and Raven Gallery in Fitzrovia, exhibiting her Reverse Portrait Series which quickly gained her recognition.
June 2014 saw her donating work to a charity art auction which was organised by Christie’s. This charity auction saw Wakefield’s work alongside the likes of Tracey Emin, the Chapman Brothers and Jonathan Yeo in order to raise money for The Old Vic theatre. Supporting the charity auction was a pop-up exhibition in London’s Soho.
In 2015, Wakefield showcased her work at ‘Dismaland’; Banksy’s infamous bemusement park, showing her work alongside artists such as Banksy, Damien Hirst and 55 other artists by doing a live demonstration of her Reverse Portrait Series.
Wakefield was shortlisted for the John Ruskin Prize 2015 with supporting exhibitions in February and again in May 2016. Wakefield had a one-woman, one night only show of hand-drawn found objects at the Groucho club in London’s Soho during Frieze Week 2017.
The exhibition’s concept was to demonstrate the ability to see the beauty in ordinary objects, toying with imagery and wordplay.
Wakefield has also had a part in a number of group shows and art fairs including the Art Carboot, Art Below, and in November 2017, the British Art Weekend; a tightly concentrated selection of art created by British artists and artists working in Britain from the 1960s to the present day.
The selection consists of 50 or so museum-level quality works on paper and editions, paintings, photography and sculpture created by some of the most iconic names and leading faces in the modern and contemporary art world, including the work of Sir Peter Blake.
Wakefield also exhibited with CONTEXT Art Fair with the LA-based Corey Helford gallery in both New York and Miami in 2017, in between working on her private commissions.
Wakefield worked on a collaborative effort with KODAK and Jigsaw under the #KodakWoman hashtag in order to promote women working within the creative industry. Exhibiting between London and Los Angeles, she has had her third solo show ‘Brandy’, at the Jason Vass gallery in Downtown LA.
In 2019, a bold charity exhibition known as FaceValue (Dirty Work) 3 saw 46 artists putting their artworks on the line with half of the artists donating artwork and the other half manipulating the pieces.
The end product creations were then auctioned off by the gallery, with the proceeds going to the Katie Piper Foundation; a charity that aims to make life easier for those living with burns and scars. The artwork donated to the exhibition by Wakefield was worked on by Dave Bounaguidi, an artist that Wakefield then went on to collaborate with on a piece for Jealous Gallery.
Other artists in the exhibition included Charming Baker, Rankin, Hayden Kays, Ronnie Wood, the Connor Brothers and Gary Hume.
Wakefield was commissioned to illustrate ‘Hooked’, an anecdotal cookbook from Mark Hix. The launch of the book coincided with the exhibition of all of the drawings at HixArt, Shoreditch, in June 2019.
August 2019 saw Wakefield and her friend and fellow artist, Nicole Fitch, double up for their duo show entitled ‘Painted Blind’ which was based on dreams and mythology at the Soho Revue gallery on Brewer street.
Wakefield returned later that year to the Soho Revue gallery for another exhibition ‘Corner Shop’ alongside Hayden Kays and David Shillinglaw.
2020 had Wakefield joining the Art on a Postcard Auction in its first all-female auction of postcard-sized original art to observe International Women’s Day. All proceeds from the auction went towards its campaign to eliminate Hepatitis C by the year 2025.
In August 2020, Wakefield returned to the Soho Revue Gallery for a group show entitled ‘Idle Thoughts’ which consisted of art created only during quarantine. In November 2020, Wakefield’s social distancing series ‘Lost in Time and Space’ was shortlisted for the Circle Foundation themed contest; ‘Art in the time of Coronavirus & Social Distancing’ and was awarded an online exhibition alongside other shortlisted artists.