From 1989-1991 Nicholas attended the Royal College of Art where he gained his Masters on the ‘Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts’. His main focus being the study of symbolic geometry underlying both Islamic and Traditional Art as a whole. Some of his work may be viewed below.
His studies have extended to the analysis of Traditional British Neolithic structures. This includes dwelling places, stone circles and burial tombs. Some of these appear to express geometric properties and symbolisms of the same order as Traditional Islamic Art.
Nicholas has recently published a book in collaboration with Prof. Keith Critchlow entitled 'The Knap of Howar and the Origins of Geometry', concerning a Neolithic site on Orkney c.3,500 BC. Its layout appears to be governed by geometric proportions that are not acknowledged to have been known about before around 400 BC in ancient Greece.
The most important influences on his recent artwork and writing are the themes expressed by a group of writers central to the ‘Traditionalist School’, in particular Rene Guenon 1886-1951. Their central concept is the ‘Sophia Perennis’, the ‘Perennial Wisdom’ - a perspective that views all the world’s traditions as an expression of the One Universal Truth. This is the foundation of all religious knowledge, symbolism being the key to this understanding. In our current climate, this spiritual perspective is unfortunately obscured by our more immediate material concerns.
Nicholas’s work is an attempt to express these perennial ideas and to promote the rediscovery of pre-modern wisdom traditions.
Nicholas is the current Professor Emeritus for R.I.L.K.O.
(The Research into Lost Knowledge Organisation).
The full list of R.I.L.K.O. Professors are:
Alexander Thom, 1974 - 1981
John C Irwin, 1981 - 2004
John Michell, 2004 - 2011
Keith Critchlow, 2011 - 2016
Nicholas Cope, 2016 to date