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S4 EP 89 Interview With an Artist - S4 EP89 Nicole Kelly didn't show her work for the first five years, now she's with Arthouse Gallery

How many of us run towards something we don't know how to do?


I would say for the most part, we run in the opposite direction! But for NSW South Coast based artist Nicole Kelly, it's a major driver in her painting. Her desire to paint subject matter she is quite sure how to tackle, is what keeps her interested.


It also means she has that elusive career that is built across different genres.


On today's episode of Interview With An Artist, we talk about:


what winning the Brett Whitely travelling scholarship meant to her practice

why she refused to show or engage with the commercial world of art for the first five years of her career

how she made the leap from full time work AND painting, to purely painting

how she came to be represented by arthouse gallery

what impact moving between genres has on her practice

the role chess plays in her life, you'll love this!


Nicole states that painting is life for her. And when you hear about her dedication and approach to her practice, you really see it is. Nicole also runs workshops and retreats so if you like the sound of learning under her, head to her website and sign up to her mailing list.




Interview With An Artist is hosted and produced by Willy (Wilamina) Russo.

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Ep 122: Summer Series - Nicole Kelly

This is the second episode of my summer series where I’m bringing you longer conversations with past podcast guests, from recordings when taking video of the artists for the Talking with Painters YouTube channel.

The video of this episode’s fabulous artist, Nicole Kelly, is the second most watched on the channel, which currently has over 150 videos*.

Nicole Kelly is an acclaimed Sydney artist, having won multiple art prizes, and you can find out more about her career and how she became an artist in my original 2019 podcast interview (episode 75).  In this episode she talks about working en plein air, how she sources colour for her work, the importance of making mistakes and lots more.

Her next solo show ‘Opacity of Time’ with her Melbourne gallery, This Is No Fantasy, opens on 25 February 2022 and I’ve included a selection of the exciting works going into that show below.

Nicole also has a solo show coming up in August with Arthouse Gallery in Sydney and her work will be included in a curated show ‘Quintet: 5 southern Sydney Artists’ at Hazelhurst Arts Centre in September.

Its hard to explain what I love about Nicole’s work but there’s a kind of mystery and romance to her paintings through her use of colour and mark which draws me in every time.

* The most watched video is the first ‘loading dock’ video where I interviewed entrants to the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2019. Link to the YouTube channel in links below.

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Ep 75: Nicole Kelly

Nicole Kelly is one of Australia’s most interesting emerging artists. Her landscapes and portraits are filled with reminiscence and emotion.

She’s had 10 solo shows, has won the coveted Brett Whiteley travelling art scholarship, Hurford Hardwood portrait prize, as well as other prizes, and has been finalist in many others.

I spoke with her in her studio in Sydney where she was creating work for her November show with Arthouse Gallery in Sydney. We also filmed some video on that day which will be uploaded to the website soon.

Nicole grew up in the Sutherland Shire in southern Sydney and now lives in Thirroul, south of Sydney.  She didn’t paint or draw much as a child and in fact was more interested in photography in high school and particularly the work of Bill Henson.

After school, encouraged by photographer and academic Ella Dreyfus, she decided to apply for the National Art School.

Press play beneath the feature photo above to hear us talk about her time at National Art School, in Paris and a lot more about her paintings and process.


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