Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Art and Science

'Priority species (Moreton Bay)' Nicola Moss ©2013. Synthetic polymer paint on hand cut paper, 137cm diameter.

Collaboration in Art and Science can create an interesting 'place' to engage with ideas, and some of the issues we are facing today. For some time the science of ecology has been the focus of my arts practice. It is a field which most closely reflects my world view - a universe where everything is connected to everything else. A complex network of relationships and dependencies, where nothing exists in isolation. Ecology and art are constant in my everyday life and it's in this scale of day to day activity that I have focused my latest body of work.

At a national level, Australia's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (2010 - 2030) identifies its number one priority for action to achieve healthy and resilient biodiversity and provide a basis for living sustainably as 'Engaging all Australians'. My project - With or without - aims to reflect and interpret information about environmental issues of concern today. Presenting art as a form of visual language that viewers can engage with and contemplate in relation to their own experiences. In part my project is about asking many questions, perhaps the ones we are all asking ourselves about the paradox of sustainability.

Monday, August 19, 2013


Details from - 'Priority species (Moreton Bay)', 'Life on the edge - citizen science', 'What does green mean?' - all 2013, Nicola Moss. Courtesy of SGAR.

In the last couple of weeks I've been finishing the artworks for my upcoming exhibition - With or without. It's a good feeling - to see completion of a project and the resulting body of work. The exhibition is still a couple of months away, opening on Friday 1st November at Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland. I'll be looking forward to seeing all the works installed and hearing some viewers thoughts. The RAG exhibition program, July to December, is now available on-line, you can check it out here (2MB).

 With or without presents a series of hand cut paper and installation works that look at two components of the sustainability conundrum - waste management and biodiversity conservation. I've focused on our everyday activities, questioning the choices we can make - what can we live with or without?

Invitations and more details coming soon.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

la biennale Venice 2013 - surface

From the broad range of artworks, medium and process on show at the biennale; it was at times simply beautiful surface qualities that caught my eye.
Above is one specimen of stone from the collection of Roger Caillois, born in France in 1913. The stone slices are displayed in lightbox style cabinets at the biennale, illuminating the beautiful colours and forms within. The collection consisting of well over 100 rare specimens is now held in the Museum National d' Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

Simon Ma's sculptural work 'Dancing Waterdrops' 2013, is a highly polished steel mirror-like surface reflecting the earthy, rustic surrounds of the Conservatorio di Musica. This lovely melding of surface and light sat peacefully within one of the buildings internal courtyards with the intermittent sounds of various classical instruments adding another dimension.

Wade Guyton's large untitled canvases present a subtle surface of monochromatic bands. This detail shows some of the marks and 'errors' resulting from his technique of feeding pre-primed canvas through a printer. Ink pools of irregular shapes and marks throughout the registration create a visually engaging surface. On show in the Arsenale.

Rudolf Stingel on show at Palazzo Grassi, has taken the idea of surface to a whole other level by covering all floor and wall areas within the gallery with his work. Consisting of over 5000 square metres of carpeting printed with the design of an oriental rug. The installation is visually dramatic, with recognition of 'rug' first coming to mind, but when viewed up close the carpet reveals a much more pixelated and abstract pattern. Within the gallery rooms the artist has sparsely hung monochrome oil on canvas paintings over the top of the carpeted walls - some are large abstracts; while another series features smaller more classical figurative works. I really enjoyed this installation, which completely re-interprets the space and relationship between artwork and gallery. On show until 31st December, 2013.

Finally a little piece of Venice itself - wabi sabi inspired. Wall within the Giardini.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Coast Life at the new Gold Coast University Hospital

'Coast Life' Nicola Moss ©2013. Digital print on vinyl, glass application.

The opening of the new Gold Coast University Hospital is drawing near, it's where you can see my artwork 'Coast Life' - one of six major three dimensional sculptural public artworks at the GCUH site. The completed glass application artwork spans six levels in the main entrance and atrium.  

'Coast Life' began as a series of black and white pencil drawings in 2009. I referenced various sites and habitats from coast to hinterland, drawing on the textures, silhouettes and details to create a distinct sense of place. In every environment a complex web of life exists through relationships of support and dependence. Interaction between plant and animal species is depicted in my artwork with images of habitat as home, shelter and food provider. I am drawing a metaphorical reference to the Gold Coast University Hospital operating as an ecology, with staff, patient and visitor connecting in relationships of care, support and service.

Projects like this can only be achieved with the support of many team members, all of whom I would like to thank. With special mention and thanks to Stacie Gibson, Lead Designer at UAP during the project and Renai Grace, Public Art Curator for the GCUH site.

If you are a Gold Coaster, you may be interested in the upcoming 'sneak peek' community day on Saturday 7th September. It's an opportunity to take a guided tour of areas of the hospital and hear the latest information about facilities and health services. Regular updates can also be read here.