Artist In Residency with Nerina Necellese

How long have you been an artist for? When did you start and why? 

 I have been drawing and painting since the day I was able to hold a crayon. I was one of those children who were completely obsessed with art, often found to be drawing all day and filling countless sketch books over the years.

I have always dreamed of being an artist. When I was around 6 or 7 years old I went to a “What do I want to be when I grow up?” fancy dress party wearing an art smock & beret, clutching brushes & old wooden palette from my grandfather – who was also an artist.


Did you study? Or were you mentored?

On an educational level, Art was my very favourite class at school and even during the lunch break, I could be found in the art room. 

I went on to complete a visual arts focused year 12 equivalent at RMIT, followed by a Bachelor of Arts and Graduate Diploma in Art at Ballarat University.


Who do get inspiration from? People or Things?

My post Graduate thesis was titled, “The Spiritual in Art”.  In this paper, I researched the philosophy and art of artists from both the East and the West who were interested in painting the spiritual dimension or ‘vibration’ beyond form. Western artists included Kandinsky, Klee & Kupka.

It wasn’t until after this ‘formal’ education that I began to develop my own style as an artist. After completing university, I commenced a 15 year period of travel to and a study of the art and culture of a number of Asian Countries includingIndonesia, Tibet, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Japan.

Personally and through my artistic practice, I have been inspired by the ‘sacred’ and ‘holy’ of Asian cultures as a tool to re-ignite a sense of the sacred my current life and those I come in touch with. My work has been greatly inspired by the art and culture of Tibetan Buddhism, Zen Buddhism and Hinduism. Even though I am not a ‘religious’ person as such, there are sacred teachings in each of these ancient doctrines which can be applied to the current age. 

In addition, the overwhelming sense of awe and compassion one experiences when gazing up at a 4 story high Buddha in Tibet or Japan seems to override all small mental problems or ego, leaving one in a state of peace and a connection to a sense of ‘oneness’ - which I feel is our true identity.  Even though this sacred object is a ‘form’, it also acts as a signpost beyond form, so a deeper place of stillness within.


What is your favorite colour and textures to work with?

My work comprises of a multitude of different colours – dependent on how I’m feeling in the moment. Some paintings contain rich and intense reds and gold, while some contain cooler pastel blues and silver. 

With regards to texture, I attempt to create an ‘aged’ patina to the paintings – as to mirror some of the ancient objects that initially inspired them.

Visually, I create a sense of texture through repeated pattern.Through pattern am contemplating both the pattern of the life cycle and seasons, pattern within sound, music and the written language, patterns in nature (honeycomb, petals of a blossom, waves etc) and the deeper, more geometric patterns that man has recognized in nature including the Fibonacci sequence, Mandelbrot set and Golden Mean.

Where/How do you sell your work?

Most of my work is sold at exhibitions and galleries, however the local ‘Artist’s Open Studios’ program also gives interested collectors the opportunity to buy directly from my studio.


Do you have exhibitions/expos?


What are some of the processes of your work?

Each painting combines a variety of processes including painting, collage, guilding, encaustic wax and screen printing.

What type of materials do you love to use and why?

Materials used in my paintings incorporate a collection of vintage Japanese fabrics, wallpapers and metallic leaf and foil; combined onto the canvas with screen printed patterns, paint and encaustic wax.  As when Japanese golden screens first appeared in the fourteenth century they functioned as a background on which to paste painted fans or square poem cards. Similarly, my paintings are a combination of both paper and material collage and painted areas.


How long have you had your studio for? Any wonderful details about your house/studio?!

My current studio was inspire by a circular ferrocement ‘potting shed’ on my parent’s property.  One evening I was dining with my family at a local restaurant and began brainstorming with my father (who thankfully happens to be an architect!) The initial design for the studio was scrawled onto a serviette and pictured a large circle – to be used as a painting space, and an adjoining smaller circle for storage.

My father, so local tradesmen and I began building this studio when I left my residency at Dunmoochin in 2012.

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