The sense of home is a sanctuary like no other, somewhere where you can be exactly where and who you are, in that moment, nowhere else. Completely immersed in the present. As a child, I remember being on a bush walk with my grandfather and moaning about how bored I was, to which he replied, after taking a deep reflective breath, “you see only with the eyes, therefore you are easy to fool.” It was in that moment the granularity of everything became clear: life is omnipresent, be in it, look with immersive feeling.
The harnessing and balancing of thoughtful awareness require an appreciation for the organic, chaotic and fugitive. In Nicholas’ paintings we find an attentiveness to the natural world that alerts us to the shortness of time, while meditatively guiding us to the metaphor of aliveness: spirit of place allows us to bear witness to the very essence of nature and ourselves; a journey within us that pushes out to enlarge our understanding of belonging.
He does not carve or alter; he sees and feels private, unhurried scenes of natural life, seconds away from vanishing, arresting time for a brief moment. Be here and now.
Looking at these paintings, fragility and strength are in equal measure. They conjure a lust to erase everything extraneous from our inside worlds and dive into the pleasures and rhythm of the outside world, a reminder that our senses are revelatory in their reach. The junctures he captures are temporal and, much like life, are achingly candid with their vulnerability plain to see. With every gesture, every decision, these paintings vigorously remind us to slow down and engage. Life abounds everywhere.
– Emma Finneran