Born in Edinburgh to a sculptor and stonemason, Deirdre Nicholls trained in sculpture and printmaking at Liverpool and Winchester Schools of Art in the 1970’s. Nicholls was an early winner of the Northern Young Contemporaries Prize from the Whitworth Gallery in Manchester in 1975. Winchester had superb visiting and in-house lecturers in the 1970s, including Norman Ackroyd, Patrick Heron, John Bellany and many others who were both great artists and good teachers.
After a long motherhood break, Nicholls returned to studio work around 2007 specialising in bronze portraits, mainly done to commission. Her most notable work to date is a large bronze portrait of Nelson Mandela, for Glasgow City Council. Her work is in public and private collections around the world.