Nick Austin

Strands, Clumps

27 Jun — 21 Jul 2007


Installation image: Mark Gore


Installation image: Mark Gore


Installation image: Mark Gore


Installation image: Mark Gore

If strands ever team-up to make clumps, the concatenation isn’t generally intentional. A more purpose-filled gesture might present a knot, but here Nick Austin supplies us with something much simpler and understated with this cluster of recent drawings.

Charting implicit topographies and sliding scales of importance Strands, Clumps gathers and cements different forms of information, rendering syncopated pictorial gestures upon the familiarly jumbled surfaces of the proverbial daily rag.

Here daily doses of the newspaper’s small print are made-over with oracular ease. With provisional largess, Austin’s sensitively realised drawings erode the news value of their ground with fluid layers of paint built up at the same patient rate that urgency tends to seep from bygone current affairs.

Entertaining a variety of scales of intensity and significance, Strands, Clumps charts a range of intimate vocabularies. Here naturally associative gestures are easily read against the quiet systems of circulation and reliance that populate the surfaces and interpersonal terrains of the everyday.

Channelling the ease and appropriateness of coincidence from the typographical to the more broadly topological, a page from the careers section finds itself notarised by a smog shrouded high-rise, as other drawings’ tidemarks trace the imprint and intimacies of their own procedural and narrative trajectories.

Amplifying the space between the visual and the literal, Strands, Clumps’ analogous documents maintain Austin’s engagement with the redolence and integrity of concrete or visual poetry whilst also delicately charting some of the artist’s recent intercontinental journeys.

Nick Austin graduated from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland with a Master of Fine Arts, and has since exhibited in numerous spaces around New Zealand. Recent exhibitions include Poor Memory, Gambia Castle, Auckland; In a room, Starkwhite, Auckland; small medium large, The Kiosk, Christchurch; Can of Jewels, HSP, Christchurch.