art history

A New World (Window Gallery, Sydney 1992)

Constantine Nicholas’ early works (1992 – 2005) feature uniquely rich and layered works, installations and digital projects. They present immersed fragments of text and imagery – many cite colonial, aboriginal and commercial references which the artist uses to question his Australian identity.

“An ongoing theme in my work is to use historical journals (other’s truth), maps and illustrations to present a ‘point of view’ in time, a reference point that I question. My usual approach is to map, print a background layer and then add layers of text or physically alter it with what I have in my mind or at hand (paint, ink, writing, layers of varnish) to transform it – its context – to the extent of losing the source and its inherent value altogether.

In most of my exhibits I have incorporated the actual exhibition site into the overall work as a part of one piece, like a retail shop front, or an environment to bring added context and layered meaning to the body of work. See MINT, CROWN LAND and BANK images on this page. I like to give my works functional meaning besides being just a work of art on a wall“.

“Constantine Nicholas’ rich surface layers have been described as an echo of the opulence of the colonial eras that invite comparison with the richness of today’s capitalism. And the thick gloss finishes enhance the luminosity of gold and silver, creating a striking contrast with the black and sometimes red featured in his art…” Anne-Marie Archer, “Untitled Transactions” State of the Arts newsletter & web
site, May 16, 2005