Nicola Moss: Choose Love

6 - 22 July 2023
Exhibition Text

The choice that frees or imprisons us is the choice of love or fear. Love liberates. Fear imprisons. – Gary Zukav, The Seat of the Soul.


A silent meditation on the healing power of nature when approached with love, Nicola Moss’ new series, ‘Choose Love’, continues her exploration of green spaces in the urban environment. Inspired by the philosophical writings of American spiritual teacher Zukav, Moss’ exhibition seeks to uplift and revive, providing solace for the soul in a time of uncertainty and conflict in Europe.


Nicola Moss has been practising as an artist for over 20 years, working from her studio in the leafy, rural suburb of Pimpama on the Gold Coast. As a recognised Australian artist with a growing reputation in public art, residencies and commissions, the execution of Moss’ current body of work displays both stylistic and technical adeptness, as well as conceptual maturity.


Her aesthetic practice reflects an ongoing interest in the environment and sustainability, and has evolved from traditional printmaking and papercutting, through a process of creative experimentation, to combine painted canvas, printing and collaged paper. Biomorphic and botanical, these large-scale works breathe the nurturing surrounds of the outdoors into the interior spaces of the gallery.


These artworks were created by Moss in response to a trip to London last year, the first international travel by the artist since Australian borders closed in 2020. With a resumption of overseas travel and a return to normalcy, comes heightened emotion, optimism and joy.


Through fresh eyes, Moss’ paintings capture the exuberance of experiencing London gardens in the post-pandemic English summer. That sensation is echoed in the works’ titles, such as When Love Calls Your Name, Summer Love and Love Is – a positive affirmation and quiet incantation between the artist and her love.


While in London, Moss visited many of the city’s famous parks and gardens. Once part of royal estates and private hunting grounds, these public spaces are now the ‘lungs’ of the metropolitan capital – a welcome escape for tourists and residents from the bustle and noise of the city.


Her visits included the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens, the expansive Hyde and Regents Parks, and the medicinal Chelsea Physic Garden, one of the oldest botanical gardens in Britain. The verdant colours of the English landscape come through in the deeper greens, blues, russets, yellows, pinks and inky blacks.


Indirectly, the artist references the history of parks, from the early, vast tracts of private, aristocratically-owned land, incorporating both wild areas and artificially designed gardens, to the public, recreational green spaces of today. As cities grew in the Victorian era, the parklands and playgrounds of the rich were gifted or opened to the populace, becoming democratically available to the urban masses for their education and enjoyment. They provide a restorative space and refuge in the cityscape, for people and animals, alike – a salve for the mind, body and soul.


Drawing on Western and Eastern art traditions, with no fixed perspective or vanishing point, and the limited presence of man in the landscape, Nicola Moss’ canvases envelop us, to make us one with the plant kingdom and its environs. The viewer becomes immersed in the colour and composition, moving with the rhythm of her patterns and lines. The artist’s ‘whispers of love’, her painted ode to English gardens, is equally restorative as she invites us to choose love, choose nature. – Stephanie Lindquist, Independent Curator


Moss has exhibited throughout Australia, Japan, Sweden and the USA, was awarded the Moreton Bay Region Art Award (2012) and in 2019 was selected to participate in the artist in residence program at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica, Venice. She has been a finalist in numerous awards including the Len Fox Painting Prize (2022), John Leslie Art Prize (2020), Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2019), STILL: National Still Life Award (2019) and Sunshine Coast Art Prize (2018, 2017, 2014). Her work is held in many important collections including the Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Moreton Bay Region Art Collection, HOTA (Home of the Arts) and the Social Securities Appeals Tribunal, Brisbane.

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