Lorraine Heller-Nicholas is a cross-disciplinary artist, working in drawing, painting, animation, print and digital media.
Her practice has often incorporated binaries such as innocence/experience, anger/contentment, violence/peace, and love/hate. It aims to de-familiarise our acceptance of these often extreme dichotomies on an affective level, which is achieved by incorporating a nostalgic, often kitsch, approach. This approach places the work itself in a contradictory realm that is both informed on a very material level by the past and the present, but at the same time transcends both.
Heller-Nicholas has been exhibiting in Australia and internationally since 2001. Recent exhibitions include Fusion: Between You and Them : the Identity of Self, Object and Place, ACAF, Shanghai (2016), Merged, Amelia Gallery, Gulf Coast State College, Florida (2016), Love Triangle, Little Woods Gallery (2015) and CoupleStalking, c3 Contemporary Artspace (2015). Heller-Nicholas has completed studio residencies in Iceland (2015), China (2014), Taiwan (2007) and locally at Laughing Waters Artist in Residence, Eltham (2013). She was a founding member of dotmov screen collective and Tape Projects (2004-2008).
‘The Boys’ Shortlisted for the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA), Grafton Regional Gallery, opening 6pm, Friday 28th Oct, 2016.
The Gallery, St Kilda Town Hall, Opening 6-8pm Thursday 18 Aug. Exhibition runs 17 August - 14 September, 2016
An exhibition of new works from artists from the Shakespeare Grove Artist Studios. This exhibition includes diverse works including painting, drawing and sculpture.
Curated by Jeremy Gales and presented over two of locations, including the launch of the new ACAF building, "Between You and Them" presents a number of Australian, Turkish and Australian artists together.
Runs Mar 17, 2016 - May 15, 2016
Amelia Center Main Gallery, Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, Florida running until Feb. 26 2016
Summit Art Space, Akron, Ohio May 13-June 18, 2016
MERGED features work by Sarah Burris, Lorraine Heller-Nicholas, Keith Freund and Linda Lejsovka and plays off the interactions between different lengths of looping sound, video and image and how combined they can leave the work open to different viewing experiences at different times. In Ohio to be exhibited as part of FUSHION at the Summit Art Space in Akron as part of a larger program looking at the interpretation of "physical, science-based world through the creative lens of the human imagination."
Couplestalking examines everyday relationships, whilst searching for romance in the lives of strangers. Here observation and memory mix together, simultaneously creating a feeling of innocence and voyeurism; the drawings create relationships where the viewer is encouraged to imagine narratives around the moment depicted. Individualism is presented, juxtaposed with a universality of the need for human relations. The title places the subjects in a position of being prey to the imagination of the artist and the viewer. A position which is always external and here, slightly creepy in relation to the individuals portrayed.
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun 10am-5pm
The work examines everyday relationships, whilst searching for romance and drama in the lives of strangers. Here observation, imagination and memory mix together, creating simultaneously a feeling of innocence, passion and voyeurism. The drawings present possible relationships, in the form of love triangles, where the viewer is encouraged to imagine narratives around the moment depicted.
Lorraine Heller-Nicholas presents Lost an exhibition of animation and works on paper influenced by her experiences in Iceland. Lost is a romance where the characters are absorbed into a landscape which has become abstracted and the lines between past and present, reality and myth, black and white are indistinguishable.
A discussion with The Artist and The Librarian about work/art balance and how they influence each other.
vidvera is a group exhibition featuring seven international artists currently in-residence at Listhus Artspace. The work on display offers diverse perspectives on Icelandic landscape including painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, and installation. The Icelandic proverb "gloggt er gests augad" highlights that a visitors view can have a freshness or clarity to it. In vidvera the group aims to make visible their presence within the landscape while also acknowledging the brief nature of their stay.
2016-Ongoing , acrylic and goache on canvas.
Doing something close to nothing is a love letter to time-wasted.
Focusing on in-between time, the ellipses between actions: time we don’t use but miss when we don’t have it. This is not mindfulness. When the world slows down and there is no priority, nothing that must be done now. This time belongs to no one else.
2014-2015, acrylic fluid on paper.
CoupleStalking examines everyday relationships, whilst searching for romance in the lives of strangers. Here observation and memory mix together, creating simultaneously a feeling of innocence and voyeurism; the drawings create relationships where the viewer is encouraged to imaging narratives around the moment depicted. Individualism is presented, juxtaposed with a universality of the need for human relations. The title places the subjects in a position of being prey to the imagination of the artist and the viewer. A position which is always external and here, slightly creepy in relation to the individuals portrayed.
Drawn from photographs I have taken on the street of real people, the drawings are black acrylic on watercolour paper. The subjects are removed from their environment, working on the romantic idea that they are in their own world.
This series was initiated as part of an artist residency and exhibition at Pantocractor Gallery, M50, Shanghai.
2015, animation and mixed media works on paper.
Lost is a romance where characters are absorbed into a landscape and the lines between past and present, reality and myth are distorted. Silent film meets abstraction in this non-linear narrative to tell a tale of loss, memory and heartbreak.
Made whilst Artist in Resident at Listhus ,Olafsfjordur, Iceland 2015.
2014, pen on canvas.
Exhibited at Tinning Street Gallery, Oct 2014 along with the work of artist Jessie Scott
The Romance Writers' Phrase Book investigates the role of anticipation within romance narratives. It considers issues of representation, description, power and the love object. Anticipation and tension are key devises in the telling of love stories. Love is always a narrative.
In this series elements of text and image intersect to present moments of romantic possibility within a greater tale. In these moments, details become everything, and descriptive elements so important to the narrative start to dissolve under the weight of the intensity of passionate anticipation.
2013, animated gifs.
Collaborative project with Katherine Soutar
This series starts with those moments where by yourself you have a moment of groove, rocking-out, or just tapping your foot. Music can affect our moods, feelings and outlook. In everyday moments when no one else is watching we sometimes let it take over. Dancing in supermarkets, in the kitchen and waiting to cross the street. In those small moments you escape the world and are free. The portraits start out as photographic and "real", then the world disappears and a drawn environment appears. You are no longer at your desk, or in the bush, or in the supermarket. You are on stage with KISS in full make-up, or you are in a club you went to when you were 18, or you are in a place where nothing but your feet exist.
2012, animation and drawings: ink on paper.
Sound design by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang 2013
The work consists of 12 different versions of a love story. Each version is made up of the same shots, the order is simply rearranged and the sound track changes. Each piece may stand on its own as a narrative but together they discuss the nature of how romance is most often represented.
Of all popular narrative forms, the romance is perhaps the one we experience most poignantly and personally. Regardless of whether we have or have not felt intense feelings of romantic love, we live in a culture where we are encouraged to yearn for it, through everything from chocolate commercials to music videos. Yet despite the emphasis upon the individual’s experience of romance, the tropes themselves are familiar to a point that verges on the hackneyed, resulting in a constant retelling of the clichéd binaries that fling figures together – and, just as often, that tear them apart. Lorraine Heller-Nicholas’ work engages explicitly with the faceless anominity of popular romantic narrative forms and figures, reminding us that while love stories appear to cover a rainbow of emotions – anger, joy, pain, passion and many more – the reality of how these stories are told more often than not relies on a monochromatic understanding of fictional representations of contemporary romance.
Exhibited as part of Southern Panaramas, 18th International Contemporary Art Festival, Videobrasil, Brazil. Catalogue available online
2011, animation and digital print series.
Sound design by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang 2012
Love is a narrative. Death is a narrative. What happens when these stories intersect, and romance collapses?
Whatever its name - mad love, crime of passion, amour fou - when the 'true love' narrative goes askew, tensions snap and violence erupts. In this moment, details become explosively irrelevant, and elements so important to the romance narrative dissolve under the weight of the visceral intensity of broken hearts. In the twisted alchemy that turns passionate love to madness to violent hate, another story - one of bodies, not of hearts or minds - begins to unfold.
While this work identifies particular moments in a causal chain, ultimately seeking to emphasise the importance of embodied sensation and affect over narrative itself.
2009-2010, cyanotype and digital image series.
In collaboration with artist Jacqueline Felstead.
Sound by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang
Screened at: Melbourne and Other Myths, City Museum at Old Treasury
Story/Dialogue: Martyn Pedler
Visuals: Lorraine Heller-Nicholas
Sound: Michael Prior
Inspired by 'A touch of Evil' dir. Orson Welles 1958.
Silent animation made for the Either/Auteur screening exhibition.
Sound Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, 2005.
Camera: Amber Hardman
Animation & Conception: Lorraine Heller-Nicholas
Keeping a visual diary has always been a part of my practice.
Tests, sketches, influences, news, bits and pieces...