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Nicholas Building – June

I hadn’t been to galleries in the Nicholas Building for sometime (I get tired of visiting the same galleries all the time). It is worth visiting the Nicholas Building if you are interested in art, fashion, literature, or just urban exploration but I’ll stick to the art galleries for this blog post.

I took the old elevator to near the top of the building for on the eighth floor is the Stephen McLaughlan that sells seriously beautiful art for the serious art collector. The current exhibitions featured beautiful lights and a video installation. The light works by Veronica Cavern Aldous are beautiful, simple and effective – I saw another work by her last year in a group show at Guildford Lane Gallery. Josephine Telfer’s installation “Billabong” is a romantic multi-layered work that combines text and two videos of the moon reflected on a billabong.

I walked down the stairs one floor to Blindside, an artist run space supported by the City of Melbourne, on the seventh floor. Blindside has two gallery spaces. In Gallery One, Elizabeth Pedler’s exhibition “Interventions in the Present Moment” features two giant teleidoscopes, a kind of kaleidoscope without coloured beads, focused on the intersection of Flinders and Swanston Street. But for much of this exhibition Pedler is pushing the mirror thing to far; every couple of years I see an exhibition with mirrors in white gallery corners.

In Blindside’s Gallery Two Canberra based artist, Steph Wilson “Ain’t Got No Business Doing Business Today”. A painting and the actual thing; every couple of years I see an exhibition that does this but Wilson has done a cool corporate-style version of this trope. It creates a strange vibe; I kept on looking at the differences between the painting and the installation of coach, table, pot plant, the black border on one wall – it is like the spot the difference puzzle drawings.

I continued walking down the stairs of the Nicholas Building, taking in the ambience of the old building to the second floor where there is the Edmund Pearce Gallery (where the Pigment Gallery used to be.) Edmund Pearce Gallery is a contemporary art space dedicated to photography with two exhibitions. There was Peter Drinkell’s “The great road climbs of the Alps and Pyreness”. It is a very topical exhibition given the current Tour de France and sponsored by a cycling clothing and accessories company. And Gary Heery’s “Undergrowth”; the deathly beauty of Heery’s photographs is spooky like a butterfly collection. The young nude women are pressed on glass, this and the frame of photographic print reminded me of Laura Palmer wrapt in plastic, or Snow White in her crystal tomb. The spiky plants and thorns contrast the soft mortal flesh of the models.

Two more floors and I’m back under the lead-lighting of Cathedral Arcade. It was worth visit the Nicholas Building – I must do it again soon.

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About Mark Holsworth

Writer, independent researcher and artist, Mark Holsworth is the author of the book Sculptures of Melbourne. View all posts by Mark Holsworth

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