Friday, May 10, 2019

Scenic Art - a big month at Queensland Theatre

Every now and then a big, exciting job comes along.

In February I painted and finished the set for the world premiere production of Hydra. A new play by Sue Smith, tracing the story of Australian writers Charmian Clift and George Johnston in their ten year odyssey on the Greek island, Hydra required floor to ceiling plaster walls and a stone floor, with props and furniture. After working on every single surface on the set, I now feel capable of renovating a house!

Working closely with the building team, Pete, John, Alex, Jamie and Chris, and set designer Vilma Matilla, I created the floor panels first, then experimented with the plaster wall texture, doing final finishes in situ after bump in to make it all consistent.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Art of the Book - on show at Toowong Library

I have a new exhibition on show at the Toowong Library. The Art of the Book is a collection of my paintings on books and altered books. The works share an emphasis on narrative and as books, they come with an inherent connection to storytelling. Thematically, they are a microcosm of an actual library, because their subject matter varies wildly from politics to landscape, history and Dr Who.

Here are some images from the show. Please come along and see the works while they are at Toowong. The show runs until the end of August 2015.

Carousel. Acrylic paint on book. $200
Images of circus and fairground recur in Nicole's work, the places where our imaginations run wild and where our dreams live.
The Magical Cloud Crown. Collage, acrylic paint and metallic leaf on book. $200
This evocative occult image, with it's intimations of magic spells, comes from a collection of occultism found in a remainders bookshop called “Book Off”, in Tokyo.

Weeping Angel. Polymer clay, collage and mixed media on book. $200
We are as culturally bound together in contemporary society by shared televisual fictions as we once were by literature. Weeping Angel is an expression of one of our most surprisingly resilient stories.

Weird Fish. Shellac, acrylics and oil paints on book. $200
The idea that water creatures might worship the moon came from Maleny painter Peter Hudson. These water creatures evolved from pictures in a mediaeval manuscript.

Twa Corbies. Acrylic paint and charcoal on book. $200
The ancient Scottish ballad, Twa Corbies, tells of two crows in a field, surveying the abandoned body of a knight in a ditch, and deciding which part to choose for dinner (his bonny blue e'en, or eyes) and which part to line their nest with (his gowden hair).

The Dragonflies. Acrylic paint on book. $200
Some artworks are a direct response to the book at hand, and the book's original title sparked an exploration of winged cut-outs and the use of book pages for paper art.

The Whitlams. Collage and acrylic paint on book. $200
The imagery of orthodox saints has been appropriated to depict two giants of Australian social and political history.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

On the fourth day of Christmas - four little paintings!

I am delighted to be included in the Small Works show at Bosz Gallery, 4/9 Doggett Street, Fortitude Valley, for the Christmas season. The show is full of works up to 50cm x 40cm, and up to about $400, so if you are looking for an artwork for your special gift, here's a good place to start!

Christmas is a time of storytelling, and I have chosen works from my series of paintings on books to resonate with the idea of a time to think, reflect and imagine. Each work is framed and ready to hang, and is $400.

Please join me at the gallery on Friday 12 December for their Christmas party. There will be drinks, nibbles and art from 6pm. If you can't make it then, the gallery is open 10 - 6, Wed to Sun.

The Merry-go-round in the Sea
Acrylic and charcoal on book substrate, 2014.
Named after the book by Randolf Stow, this is a work about childhood memories.
The Peace Cranes
Charcoal, sculpted paper and shellac on book substrate, 2014.
Drawings of nests are embedded between the pages, and a flock of origami cranes fly across their folded world, made from a legal tome on land law. They live within yet outside of the human world.

Matthew Brady's Lookout.
Acrylic and collage on book substrate, 2014.
Matthew Brady was a notorious bushranger-pirate in Tasmania. He excaped from the horrors of Sarah Island in 1824, and spent the next two years robbing coaches and ships, until he was betrayed and hanged in 1826. This is the view from his lookout, where he had a clear sightline to the road and the river. 

A Toy Theatre for Melba
Mixed media on book substrate, 2014
Fascinated with the world of the imagination created in Victorian toy theatres, I made one within a book, with curtains and proscenium arch made from aluminium flashing, and Melba upon the stage.

The artworks have been framed in decorative box frames and are ready to hang.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A New Studio and a New Collection of Work.

With the launch of my Creative Art Services business this year, thanks to NEIS, I am combining my skills and providing music and art performances, tuition, fine art pieces and merch. My new workspace is in West End, a very stimulating part of Brisbane, and I'm developing an expressive collection of art pieces, working with books. Here is a series of images following the development of "Weird Fish", a piece based on a mediaeval illumination of the same name.

Fiddle Icons Show in Derry, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fiddle Icons - latest news.

Huge thanks to all the generous supporters who carried me to the target of $3000 to make my Fiddle Icons show in Northern Ireland possible. As you can see from the Pozible widget at the side of the blog, we went to 110%, a brilliant result.

The first use for the money is to pay for digital capture and reproduction of the images. The paintings are currently at Brisbane Digital Images, where the work is progressing apace. The meticulous Martin Barry is scanning the images and doing the colour corrections. As soon as they are ready, I will post the images on the blog, and email them to all my supporters so you can choose the image you would like as your reward. I will also have postcards made of them.

The fiddle players to choose from are, from left to right: Emma Nixon, Nancy Kerr, Natalie Haas, Alasdair Fraser, Martin Hayes, Dougie Maclean and Ado Barker.

Although I am currently on tour with Cloudstreet in the UK, I am attempting to finish some watercolours of other fiddlers I have interviewed, to show alongside the major works at NAFCo.

The show will run for the duration of the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Derry, from 27 June to 1 July.

More news as it comes to hand!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Nancy Kerr as the Madonna of the Fiddle

Here she is, the iconic Nancy Kerr, with the Southern Cross in her dress and the babes at her feet. Sunrise and foliage ideas courtesy of Claude Lorrain, but Nancy's beatific look is all her own doing!