From Sharne Wolff…
It’s no wonder David Walsh, owner of Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art, is a fan of Nell’s work – they’re both fascinated by the enduring themes of sex, death, religion and, of course, rock & roll. Nell has two exhibitions running simultaneously in Sydney. Let There be Robe at Alaska Projects re-presents Nell’s concept of a rock and roll house of worship. This reincarnation of the MONA installation comprises a Buddhist robe (sewn from vintage AC/DC T-shirts) standing behind a bunch of guitar picks piled on the floor. Handmade crucifixes fashioned from the used paintbrushes and drumsticks of well-known artists and musicians surround the walls. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of female rock pioneer Chrissy Amphlett, who apparently adored this show.
A couple of suburbs away, Nell’s Gravest Hits is showing at Roslyn Oxley9. AC/DC make an encore appearance with their ‘Back in Black’ album featuring in three minimal large-scale collages of vinyl record covers titled More Sound Hours than Can Ever Be Repaid #1-3. Opposites face-off with the Beatles ‘White Album’ also displayed in the same style. You get the impression that Nell’s one artist who never runs out of ideas. With the title of the show inspired by ‘The Cramps’ EP recorded in 1978, the weird lyrics of the song ‘Human Fly’ (that’s F-L-Y) have sparked another thread in her practice. A video entitled SUMMER sees the artist destroy a human-sized fly. The insects also dominate the ‘Nell-sized’ plastic, resin and neon sculpture Self-nature is subtle and mysterious – the world is both wonderful and fucked, 2013 and the framed art-history book picturing Rodin’s The Thinker covered in fly stickers and titled Where there are humans, you’ll find flies, 1949/2013. ‘I don’t know I just, don’t know why’.
Until June 23
Alaska Projects, Kings Cross
Until June 29
Roslyn Oxley 9, Paddington
Pic: Nell, Self-nature is subtle and mysterious – the world is both wonderful and fucked, 2013. Glass reinforced plastic, resin, plastic blow flies, glass, electrical components, Nell size. Courtesy the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery. Photo: Jessica Maurer.