Born: 1949, Adelaide
Died: October 2012
Raised in the suburbs of Adelaide, Trevor Nickolls began drawing and painting from an early age. This later formed the foundation of his occupation as an art teacher. Educated formally in Western art theory, Nickolls came across traditional Aboriginal art and met Papunya artist Diiny Noland whilst doing his post graduate degree in painting at the Victorian College of the Arts. The post-modern intellectual environment of the late 70s encouraged the deconstruction of boundaries and Nickolls’ explored his own Aboriginal heritage; taking from both western and Aboriginal art traditions.
After graduating, Nickolls took a role as Education Officer in Arnhem Land; traveling through country, meeting with elders and other artists and expanding his knowledge of both culture and artistic styles. He worked in both Sydney and Melbourne during the 80s and continued to explore an uncomfortable duality he felt and perceived for urban Aboriginal Australians through both style (mixing of traditional Aboriginal artistic elements such a dot painting and cross hatching with western conventions such as comics/cartoon, surrealism and portraiture) and subject. He coined this Dreamtime to Machinetime and he paved the way for many urban Aboriginal artists.
In the 1990 Venice Biennale he was chosen to represent Australia with thirty paintings. Nickolls enjoyed an illustrious career with over 50 group and solo shows across Australia, as well as several in Europe and the United States. His works are currently held in in all the major national collections.
FireWorks Gallery 2019