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I often search for places that have a heightened sense of drama and find it particularly in subjects that are in an advanced stage of collapse and decay. There is a busy, chaotic feel to my work; a world of debris and clutter that one often finds in the Australian landscape. Each thing – a branch, a twig, a clod of mud - has its own presence and is distinct, relying upon a sense of contingency with its fellow ‘things’. It is this sheer multitude of events and relationships, each with their own presence, which is overwhelming in nature.

In many ways I am a “particulariser” in that I wish to describe with particular attention what makes one thing different from another - what the writer Robert Macfarlane calls “Precision of Utterance both as a form of lyricism and a species of attention.” I delight in the materialism of the natural subject and intend it to represent utterly nothing other than itself. But more than this, my whole being exists in relation to landscape. I think in terms of place. My memories are shaped within it and certain places have often offered ways of describing me to myself.

Both the Savage River tailing ponds and the drowned forest at Lake Gordon have in common a dramatic element that is incredibly unusual. One doesn't really have the experiences to immediately comprehend these places and they convey a strangeness that I find incredibly appealing. They are landscapes where wildness and human interests intersect with stark consequences.

At Savage River, congregations of decaying trees appear like lost wrecks slipping beneath the water. The contours of the land and trees are so misshapen and contorted as to hint at an inner life, as if behind the surface of things there is an uncanny presence lying within. The particular nature of entropy and the degree of disorder and chaos that is found in these landscapes is very much a gift for a painter, both because of the strange physicality of the place and what it offers in the way of visualising the process of physical decay. This is a truth that art has historically been asked to tell.

And I wish to make observers of my work aware of time. Time experienced through the subject. Time experienced in shades and textures. Time felt through the painterly marks and the slow process of the hand. Concentration. Scrutiny. Slow-time.

Over the years the landscape of Tasmania has become increasingly important in my work and I have continued to return to certain places and particular subjects. In a sense it is an attempt to try and feel something over period of time through clinging on to a subject.

 

Education

1991-1994 Southampton Institute, UK/ BA Honours Fine Art
1989-1991 Braintree college, UK/ BTEC Art & Design


Solo Exhibitions

2017 "Deadwood Shallows", Nanda Hobbs Galler, Sydney
2015 "Savage River", Nanda Hobbs Gallery, Sydney
2013 “Edgeland”, Bett Gallery, Hobart
2012 “Ephemera”, Mick Gallery,Sydney
2012 New paintings, Bett Gallery, Hobart
2009 “Rivulet”, Boutwell Draper, Sydney
2008 “Narcissus”, Dickerson Gallery, Sydney
2007 “New Paintings”, Dickerson Gallery, Melborne
2006 “Recent Works”, Dickerson Gallery, Sydney
2006 “Recent Works”, Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne
2003 “Coastline Figures”, FX Art & Framing, Sydney


Selected Group Shows

2011   Group Show, Mick Gallery,Sydney
2009 “Regrowth”, Bett gallery, Hobart
2008  Group show, Boutwell Draper gallery, Sydney
2007 "Land, Sea & Sky”, Dickerson Gallery, Sydney
2007 “Art Melbourne 07", Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
2007 “Land, Sea & Sky”, Dickerson Gallery, Melbourne
2006 “Black & White”, Dickerson Gallery, Sydney
2006 “Art Melbourne 06”, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne                 
2005 “Gallery Artists”, Dickerson gallery, Sydney
2005 “Off the Wall”, Art Sydney 05


Prizes

2018 Glover Art Prize, (Highly commended & Peoples choice) 2016 Clover Art Prize, (Highly commended & Peoples choice)
2015 Glover Art prize
2014 Paul Guest Prize
2014 Paddington Art Prize
2014 JADA Drawing Award
2014 Bay Of Fires Art Prize
2013 Hutchins Art Prize
2013 Adelaide Perry Drawing prize, sydney
2012 Glover Art Prize
2011 Hobart City Art Prize
2011 Waterhouse Natural History Prize (Highly commended)
2011 Glover Art Prize
2010 Kedumba Drawing Award
2010 Glover Art Prize
2009 Paddington Art Prize (winner)
2009 Glover Art Prize
2008 Fleurieu Art Prize
2008 Glover Art Prize
2007 Paddington Art Prize (winner)
2007 Kings School Art Prize (winner)
2007 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize, Adelaide Museum (short-listed, Highly commended)
2006 Doug Moran Portrait Prize, Mitchell Library (short-listed)
2005 Archibald Prize Salon de Refuses Finalist, S.H.Ervin Gallery
2005 54th Blake Prize, Sir Hermann Black Gallery (short-listed)
2005 Art on the Rocks, Sydney


Private Collections

Artbank
Macquarie Bank
KPMG
Newcastle Regional Gallery

 

Publications

2017 Andrew Frost, Guardian, 9th September, 2017
2017 Island magazine, Unstable landscapes
2011 Art Collector, What Now, Issue 58
2008 Studio international June 2008
2007 Belle magazine, April/May “Rising Stars”
2007 The Saturday Age, March 24th, Megan Blackhouse
2007 Preview, The Age, March 18th, Penny Webb
2005 Australian House & Garden, December 2006                 
2005 “The art of the matter”, Judy Ostergaard
2005 Australian Art Collector, Smart Art, Issue 37, July – September, Carrie Lumby

Nicholas Blowers is represented by the Bett gallery, Hobart, Tasmania and Mick Gallery, Sydney