Luca Nicholas: in bloom

2 Sep - 2 Oct 2021
  • in bloom is a series of etchings on diaphanous mulberry paper depicting detritus that one might find littering the footpath...
    Luca Nicholas
    in bloom v, 2019
    intaglio on mulberry paper
    paper: 410 x 305mm (approx.); plate: 300 x 245mm
    Edition of 3 + 1 AC
    NZD 400.00 + frame

    in bloom is a series of etchings on diaphanous mulberry paper depicting detritus that one might find littering the footpath alongside a gate or hedge: bits of food, pill packets, shrubs, sticking plasters. In order to create the images, Luca Nicholas has rolled the found objects themselves through the press, causing them to smash into the soft ground preparation on the plates.  

     

    In the in bloom etchings, each object becomes a complete image. The resulting pieces are reminiscent of botanical artworks, such as the engravings of plants collected during the 1768–71 voyage of the Endeavour under Captain James Cook, and later pictures of Aotearoa flora by Sarah Featon and Georgina Hetley. 

    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom i, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom i, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom ii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom ii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom iii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom iii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom vi, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom vi, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom vii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom vii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xxiii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xxiii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
  • Further analogues for the etchings are the botanical cyanotypes (that is, blue-tinted photograms) of Anna Atkins. Like them, the in...
    Luca Nicholas
    in bloom xii, 2019
    intaglio on mulberry paper
    paper: 410 x 305mm (approx.); plate: 300 x 245mm
    Edition of 2 + 1 AC
    NZD 400.00 + frame

    Further analogues for the etchings are the botanical cyanotypes (that is, blue-tinted photograms) of Anna Atkins. Like them, the in bloom images are the product of direct contact between object and capturing medium. There is a sensuality in the process, a kind of bodily touch, which takes the place of the intimacy illustrated in previous works by Nicholas.  

    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom viii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom viii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xi, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xi, 2019
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xiii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xiii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xiv, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xiv, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xxi, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xxi, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xx, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xx, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
  • Where botanical artworks typically seek to exemplify groups, with one ‘specimen’ standing in for a whole class of kindred forms,...
    Luca Nicholas
    in bloom xviii, 2019
    intaglio on mulberry paper
    paper: 410 x 305mm (approx.); plate: 300 x 245mm
    Edition of 2
    NZD 400.00 + frame

    Where botanical artworks typically seek to exemplify groups, with one ‘specimen’ standing in for a whole class of kindred forms, the etchings are closer to portraits. They are precise likenesses of particular objects, tied to particular people, and extending from particular experiences. A pill packet is always connected to the individual who popped it, whether to ease a headache or take the edge off an anxious soul. To portray such a packet is to acknowledge a psychic as much as an environmental trace. 

     

    – Francis McWhannell

    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xv, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xv, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
    • Luca Nicholas, in bloom xvii, 2019
      Luca Nicholas, in bloom xvii, 2019
      NZD 400.00 + frame
  • Luca Nicholas

    Luca Nicholas

    Luca Nicholas’ practice centres on printmaking and the exploration of queer experiences. He seeks to foster belonging, creating work ‘driven by pathos, humour, and care’. His enthusiasm for printing relates, in part, to the ‘embrace’ at the heart of the process: the meeting of paper and plate between the rollers of the press. Nicholas holds a Master of Visual Arts degree from Auckland University of Technology. He won the Ruth Davey Merit Award at the 2020 New Zealand Painting and Printmaking Award for his etching hyper-ballad (2020).