My paintings created over the last 20 years form a narrative within a unique painted environment. The imagery of the Ross Bridge, Tasmania is both vegetal and mythical and all over my work. This repeats and transforms in scale and in context as I paint it into my narrative. The paintings are often structured with pathways, like children’s mazes. These paths lead the viewer into the painting to meander amongst my remembered landscape, populated with plant forms, ships, while loaded with an array of symbols and ancient heads, shapes derived from the Ross Bridge. Following the pathways creates a displacement in time and place. The heads and shapes are the gift of the convict artisan Daniel Herbert that he created between 1833 -1836. On completion he won his freedom from the colonial chain gang. The colors - ochre, green and yellow in my paintings reflect the lush palette I experienced as a child in the Tasmanian rain forest, combined with black, red and white of its dry heat. I want my paintings to tackle the mystery of nature, its wildness and its underlying structure, to envelop and transport the viewers on a spectacular journey, one that evokes a multiplicity of readings. - Garry Nichols 2023
Garry Nichols was born in Tasmania. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Studied at the National Art School and East Sydney Tech (evenings) before continuing study at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. The artist has exhibited in New York at Pierogi Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, Parallel Art Space, The Drawing Center, White Columns, Leo Castelli Gallery, Robert Steele Gallery, Artists Space, Factory Fresh Gallery and Pierogi Gallery. In Australia exhibitions include the Art Gallery of NSW, National Gallery of Victoria, Stella Downer Fine Art and Macquarie Gallery. His work is included in collections in New York, Japan and Australia. Selected awards include the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Grant for Painting, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Painting, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant and the Marten Bequest 2 year Traveling Grant (Australia). Lectured on art in Australia and New York. His art and mural was also featured in the BRIC House, Brooklyn inaugural exhibition titled Housewarming 2013. His artwork is featured in “An Anthology of New York Painters - I Don’t Poem” (Off the Park Press) in 2015, a self published book titled “Garry Nichols: Paintings” in 2019.