Old New Wave

18 March > 4 June 2023

Artist Talk > Sunday 4 June 2023, 1PM to 2PM

Old New Wave is a show at both the edge and the centre. Utlising a range of sculptural mediums, Nell prompts us to consider the nuanced and difficult places where binaries careen, overlap and interfold. The work is firmly framed within St. Kilda's physical past, specifically the 80’s punk scene, and its physical landscape, specifically the ocean and its waves. These two lap together tumbling amongst the questioning greys to create a new and old place for reflection and action.

Nell’s artistic practice is multifaceted and interdisciplinary, spanning across painting, sculpture, performance, installation, video, wearables, collaborations, community projects and public art. Underpinning all her work is an exploration of the thresholds of binary opposites such as the ancient and contemporary, individual and communal, feminine and masculine, and sacred and profane. From an Australian vantage point, she uses the language of art history, popular music and spiritual traditions to amplify the tensions and differences between these binary positions to create new objects and rituals.

Nell is represented by STATION Gallery, Naarm / Melbourne & Gadigal / Sydney.

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In creating the exhibition 'Old New Wave', I was looking at the boundary between what is considered "old" and "new." Although these two concepts are typically seen as opposites, there's a grey area between them and this is where the exhibition is situated. Taking inspiration from the late 70s and early 80s music scene in St Kilda, the exhibition pays homage to the various venues and bands that flourished at that time, as well as the waves at the adjacent beach, and the comings and goings of Linden's residents. All culminating in an interplay between past and present.

Nell,  2023

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IMAGES > Nell, A line of poetry [detail], 2021, walking stick, giant clam shell, gold-plated bronze, 97 x 25.3 x 35 cm, 3 parts. Image courtesy of the artist. Photograph: Jenni Carter.
> Nell, On a withered tree, ghosts bloom [installation detail], 2023, stainless steel, hand-blown glass, dimensions variable. Photograph: Liam James.