VENUE: SAM (Shepparton Art Museum)
CURATORS: Rebecca Coates and Anna Briers
The artist known simply as Nell has a signature style that is instantly recognisable: a fusion of religious iconography with a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. Complex and paradoxical, Nell took her Buddhist vows in an ancient Chinese ceremony while concurrently worshipping at the altar of Australia’s true rock god legends – AC/DC.
Life, death and rebirth; sex, Zen and rock ‘n’ roll, play out as key themes across the artist’s oeuvre in this survey exhibition. Her work often explores the tension between diametrically opposed polarities such as light and dark, silence and noise.
Nell’s multi-disciplinary practice includes painting, installation, performance and video. Through these means she explores a unique cosmology of symbols such as the egg, the drip, the lightning bolt, the fly and the smiley face - enduring motifs in a quest for universal meaning. It’s only two hours to Shepparton if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll!
Sydney based Nell was born in 1975 in Maitland, NSW, Australia. Recent major works and collaborations include: The Wake, Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia (2016). It’s a Long Way to the Top (If you Wanna Rock `n’ Roll), Chanting to Amps, Let There Be Robe, Museum of Old and New Art, (MONA) Tasmania, commissioned performances and installations for the festival MONA FOMA (2012). Theatre of the World, MONA (2012). The Oracle - Spring/Summer (2011/12), collaboration with Romance Was Born for Australian Fashion Week. Nell is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery Sydney, and STATION Gallery, Melbourne.