TOM NICHOLSON

TOM NICHOLSON: THE APPROACH

  
The project attempts to re-animate a colonial image, to re-cast its imaginary projections into a new set of meanings.
 
Evening shadows encompasses several processes: gathering together the many, many painted copies of H.J. Johnstone’s Evening shadows, backwater of the Murray, South Australia 1880 scattered around Adelaide and amassing them in a salon hang into the gallery traditionally occupied by his painting; an extended drawing process, attempting to re-create in a multi-panel charcoal drawing the negative of the lost photograph on which Johnstone’s painting was (arguably) based (Johnstone was a leading commercial photographer in Melbourne and painted Evening shadows in London); and extensive historical research in Barmah, Victoria, and archives in Melbourne working towards a video work describing the 1939 Cummeragunja walk-off and its history; and a poster-based work ‘ advertising’ the walk-off, which people are invited to display in their front windows or front gardens (like election propaganda), creating a massive dispersed ephemeral work which is public in character but grounded in the domestic.
 
The project attempts to re-animate a colonial image, to re-cast its imaginary projections into a new set of meanings. This re-animation is a reverse archaeological process, re-creating the painting’s source negative through drawing and also ‘excavating’ another (later) event from within the painting’s allegorical narrative.

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2pm Sunday 25 February 1862 poster stack detail

Indefinite distribution  
  After action for another library for whom the bell tolls


TOM NICHOLSON 
2pm Sunday 25 February 1862 (detail), 2006–07
Work in four parts: stack of 2,000 off-set printed A1 posters, charcoal and white pastel drawing, found book with charcoal markings, colour photograph
dimensions variable
photography: Christian Capurro
Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney
TOM NICHOLSON
Indefinite distribution, 2010
Public action on 15 November 2010 with two aeroplanes and aeroplane texts, and the distribution of 30,000 leaflets by 60 volunteer participants, in and around the centre of Porto, Portugal. Commissioned and supported by the Serralves Museum, as part of the exhibition, To the arts, citizens!
Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney
TOM NICHOLSON
After action for another library (detail), 1999–2001/2006
Traces of an action over two years: 110 lambda photographic prints, 60 x 90 cm each; pencil wall drawing; one framed text, 22 x 30 cm; nine framed black and white photographs,
dimensions 22 x 30 cm each
Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Sydney

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