Australian Art

Rose Nolan’s dramatic installation brings together many key aspects of her artistic practice. It blurs the boundaries between painting, sculpture and architecture, as well as words and geometric abstraction. As an art student in the 1970s she had a passion for the Russian avant-garde, inspired by John Nixon whose works are also exhibited in this space. She recalls that he was ‘a real connector’ in Melbourne at the time in the way he set up various experimental artist-run spaces.

Nolan is interested in the ways in which the work both transforms and is transformed by space. Comprising some 8860 hessian circles the work is, in its own way, architectural. Taking an overview of the sinuous suspended structure, the curves act, as Nolan tells us, as ‘inhabitable nooks in which the visitor can hide, contemplate or socialise’. For her, the back of the work is as significant as the front, drawing attention to the geometric, abstract qualities.

Nolan’s work brings together big philosophical ideas and wry humour. The text is drawn from Sol LeWitt’s ‘Sentences on conceptual art’, published in 1969. She likes to keep the meanings open-ended and was drawn to the ‘crazy notion that an irrational thought might be followed absolutely and logically’. This corresponds with her own ideas of creating ‘quite a tight program or condition’ for methodically and obsessively making her own bold, inventive work.