Exhibition held at the Roslyn Oxley Gallery, Sydney Until Sept 4, 2010
Oh lord, is it too much to ask to make just one of my works into a song?
I especially dedicate this song to the tears of families, to unmade love and…..
I am wet & dirty; please don’t clean me up. Do not give me strength when I am weak. Let my selfishness be selfless. Make me blind & deaf so I may see & hear. Keep words & people from my mind & mouth. Let my hands do only the work of hands. Make me neither good, nor bad, but both – always and forever.
There is nothing to save me from being reborn in all & all being reborn in me.
I accept each inhalation as a rebirth. I accept each exhalation as a death.
Even the absolute is empty.
I live in praise of song.
Bernard Zuel’s words for Made in The Cross
John and I knew what we were. We weren’t told; it wasn’t necessary when it may as well have been stamped on our foreheads.
Wogs / Westies / Catholics / Nerds
With music. Always music. There weren’t girls – not for lack of trying, not for lack of wanting – but there’d be the records: the dissection of the records, the repetition of the records, the emulation of the records.
Those records didn’t tell us how to live or rebel or any of those tiresome clichés, nor did they offer us some escape from reality; save those platitudes for the Sunday magazines. We weren’t deprived, lost or needy. We weren’t running to or away from anything any more complex or challenging than anyone else.
But what they did give us was a further identity. Not an alternative but an additional one. Or, to be honest, additional ones because the scope was limitless and we were greedy to have more of everything – to fill out, to contrast, to explain.
Nell likes to say that self-nature is subtle and mysterious. We weren’t subtle and hardly mysterious, except to our ignorant selves. Still, if others have organising principles of life, we had infestations of life. We sucked it in in great big handfuls: music, words, pictures, family, religion, bodies.
If we’d had the chance to look at Nell’s categories of existence, of definition, we would have been busy ticking off each marking as we ran down the list or pored over the body leaking and excreting words. That’s us, that one too. And yeah, that one we can’t deny.
And we would have come back for a second look and a third to tick off what we yet might be and what we feared could be. More.
Who are we? We knew. And we knew nothing
1975 Born in Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
1993 – 1995 Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney (Bachelor of Visual Arts), Australia
1996 The University of California (Honours), USA
1999 – 2001 Founding Director of Rubyayre artist run gallery
2005 – 2006 Master of Visual Arts, Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris
2010 Made in The Cross, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2008 All the Way, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney / There Goes a Narwhal (with Michael Zavros), Gertrude Contemporary Art Space, Melbourne
2005 Happy Ending, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2004 Who Made Who, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2003 Nell, Maitland Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales
2002 No Mountain, No River, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney / Fly as High as Me, Newcastle Region Art Gallery / Wet Light, Block, Sydney / The Fly and the Mountain (with Mel O’Callahan), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2001 Unlimited Radiance, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney / Treasure, Briefcase, Sydney / mel + nell (with Mel O’Callahan), Room, Rotterdam, The Netherlands / nell, Showcase, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2000 NellNation (with Neha Choksi) Byculla, Mumbai / nell + mel (with Mel O’Callahan), Galerie Stadt Munchen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands / mel + nell (with Mel O’Callahan), Room 35, Sydney
1999 NellNation (with Neha Choksi) 4A Gallery, Sydney / nell + mel (with Mel O’Callahan), Room 35, Sydney
1998 Nell, Galerie Y-Burg, Vrieshuis Amerika, Amsterdam, The Netherlands / mel + nell (with Mel O’Callahan), Room 35, Sydney
1997 Groove is in the Heart (with Sadie Chandler) Stripp, Melbourne, Australia / Unfettered, Side-On, Sydney
1996 NELL.A, room 505, The Co-op, Los Angeles, USA
1994 Bunny Installation, Interior 4, Sydney
About the Gallery
Since 1982, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery has been committed to the advancement of the most serious and innovative forms of contemporary art.
Through its exhibition program the gallery has supported work that is challenging and at the forefront of contemporary art practice. The gallery has always featured new work in a range of media, from painting and sculpture to photography, performance, installation, video and other electronic media arts.
The gallery has always followed a policy of nurturing artists through their careers, acting as a primary dealer for their work. Opening with a group of largely unknown artists, the gallery has consistently seen its stable develop into some of Australia’s most renowned practitioners. The gallery currently represents over thirty highly esteemed artists, who have had significant shows and whose works are held in major collections nationally and internationally