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Landscapes of the Mind: Chris Nicholls

Posted on 25 September 2013

For the past few years I worked on the curation of Landscapes of the Mind, which showed at the Art Gallery of Ballarat from 21 September to 27 October.

The exhibition looked wonderful in three of the Art Gallery’s ground floor galleries.

Chris Nicholls was an artist who lived and worked in a remote corner of the Wimmera for the last 32 years of his life. His paintings and drawings are intense and passionate interpretations of that landscape of contrasts, which varies from tangled bush and giant red gums to flat cultivated fields, and from dry summer creek beds to lush winter vegetation.

Chris’ paintings show his deep involvement with his environment and concern for the effects of human actions and development. The sketchbooks and drawings are particularly beautiful. He was a master of the techniques of ink, charcoal and gouache.

Sadly, just as he was about to exhibit at one of Melbourne’s major galleries, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and died 7 months later. The exhibition had to be cancelled. So this is a rare opportunity to view the work of this great Wimmera artist.

detail Lilly and Rusty #2, Charcoal on paper. 2002 © Artist’s estate.
detail Lilly and Rusty #2, Charcoal on paper. 2002 © Artist’s estate.

Additional information

There are many examples of his work and a CV on his website.

His widow, Ros Nicholls writes movingly about his working practices in About Chris.

Download About_Chris.docx (138Kb)

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