It brings together works in which she approached the genres of landscape, still life and portrait alongside her experiments with abstraction, with particular emphasis on the way she treated light and colour.
The works were developed throughout her career, taking inspiration from the places in which she lived or that she visited. These include her native Cumbria and surroundings in Lugano, Switzerland, in the early 1920s; trips to southern France and Paris in the 1930s and The Hebrides in the 1950s; and Greece in the 1960s.
Throughout her career Nicholson was interested in prisms. Inspired by her use of these geometric figures, she developed these interests in the last few years of her life, often painting pictures that verged on the abstract. Many of them unseen, and a key feature of the show, Nicholson’s prismatic pictures were a culmination of her search to find “form’s secret and rhythmic law”.