In August of 2018 I participated in an artists residency at the National Design Centre in Singapore. The residency culminated in the exhibition Playground of Infinite Happiness. My work, Unexpected Happiness, was on display as part of this exhibition and was installed as a permanent sculpture on the second floor.
Intersection was an exhibition of poetry and visual art by Singaporean poet Marc Nair and visual artist Nicola Anthony. The work maps an architecture of memory at the junction of three diverse cities: Yangon, London, and Singapore.
From this one-day residency the piece “a staircase leads to the defined place for making art” was produced. The piece was a photo-box documenting the interventions in Secretariat. The box was made by a local Yangon man in the market square and includes a site specific poem written by Marc Nair.
The sculpture unveiling in 2018 coincided with the dedication ceremony for the USC Shoah Foundation’s new home at Leavey Library at University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The artwork features the life story of Jona Goldrich, a holocaust survivor who escaped from Poland during WW2. Jona’s testimony has been sculpted into an artwork.
In my research over the years I have spoken to many individuals who have generously shared their stories for me to retell in sculptural form. One thing I observed from these humbling conversations is that those I spoke to who had the most difficult and challenging stories to tell, also expressed the purest sense of happiness and joy. It will always remain unknown how happy we all are relative to each other, but I certainly get a sense that those who found happiness after struggle were the ones who recognised, appreciated and basked in that joy the most - even if it was just a fleeting moment.
Do you believe in serendipity? It often seems to me that the things which occur seem to be just the right thing - even if I don't know it at the time, I do believe that life's twists and turns have their purpose. That the lows help us value the highs. I experience lots of moments of unexpected happiness, small snatches of joy, which catch me unaware. I try to be open to this - noticing when something is wonderful or good, even if it's simply the pattern of a coffee spill that turned out to be quite beautiful - it's up to me whether to decide it's a mess to be mopped up or a chance for inspiration, (or perhaps a learning about the usefulness of coasters).
Underground there are many unseen streams, tributaries and flows which lead into the river itself. On my calligraphy paper this becomes a metaphor for the invisible elements all around us in life that lead to the path we find ourselves on. Fragments from Marc’s poems float alongside the inky river banks.
Suspended in mid-air, three delicate paper sculptures strike an ethereal image with intricate shadows cast on the wall behind. Boat-like in shape, with strings attached from the body to the elegantly curved neck, Humming History, Paper Notes, and Arpeggio by artist Nicola Anthony take as their inspiration the traditional court instrument of Burma (as Myanmar was known in ancient times): the saung, a harp carved from the root of a tree and strung with silk.
Intersection is an exhibition of poetry and visual art by Singaporean poet Marc Nair and visual artist Nicola Anthony. The work maps an architecture of memory at the junction of three diverse cities: Yangon, London, and Singapore.
The exhibition is travelling to Yangon this March, and has been five years in the making. Both artists journeyed to each city to engage in field research, resulting in the initial body of work which debuted in 2017. Intersection, though, is a work in progress, and new work will be created on site at Myanm/art Gallery.
Contemporary British artist Nicola Anthony is very honoured to have been shortlisted as one of 30 finalists for the the 2018 Sovereign Asian Art Prize – the 14th edition of this prestigious prize for mid-career contemporary artists.
The selected artwork Human Archive Project (borders are a human construction), 2017, was made using stories gathered in Singapore and South East Asia, giving insight into 20 individuals who have left their homeland and loved ones behind to work here as construction workers and domestic workers.
There was a moment which made my senses tingle as I saw the final print of this artwork emerge on its gorgeous paper, thanks to the printing experts at NPE Art Residency whilst I was artist-in-residence there. It is my first digital fine art print in a long time, (an exclusive edition of 15, available here). I want to share with you the journey of this artwork...
The Hotlotz Auction features limited edition prints of four selected artworks by Nicola Anthony. There will also be prints from Kusama, Picasso, Marc ChagaLl and local Singaporean artists. Click to bid online here or read on below for insight into the creative process behind These prints…