Nicci Haynes




Megalo Print Studio and Gallery, Australia


Nicci Haynes studied pharmacology in Wales in the mid 1980s and after a short career in research and then a much longer period of other adventures came to Australia and the ANU School of Art. Since graduating from the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop in 2007 she has been regularly exhibiting work in Australia and overseas. Her practice is varied although she describes it as based mostly around drawing. The work tends to merge across boundaries and includes books, mechanical gadgets, drawing on prints, print on drawings, hair and wire turning 2D work into sculptural objects, once aptly described as 'Nicci_s printhairies' in a magazine article.

'I don't really see much difference between the artistic and scientific endeavour', she says 'they are just different ways of finding out about the world and my experimental inclinations manifest in my art, especially in etching, which sometimes feels like a form of alchemy.'

Based in Canberra, she currently teaches etching at ANU, Megalo Print Studio with an occasional spell at NAS in Sydney.


There are too many spelling or grammatical errors in finnegans'wake.doc to continue


It strikes me that the writer's challenge is the same as for any artist, which is how to get all this stuff, the raw data of our non-orderly first-hand experience of the world, into a material form. We tend to take it for granted that writing is up to the task but in fact what Joyce draws attention to in Finnegans Wake is to the shortcomings of writing. That the rigid permanence of language is fundamentally unsuited to the nature of reality accounts for the unusual capacities of the Wake's flexible lexicon.
My layered prints and drawings respond to the convoluted language of Finnegans Wake. Writing that leans towards confusion, disorder and disintegration finds visual analogy in my webs of fine wires and threads that resist containment and break free of their two-dimensional constraints to meander and tangle into strange formations.
A mechanical contraption constructed from a musical mechanism, a 10m long punched paper strip and a sound recording of James Joyce reading on YouTube translates a spoken passage of Finnegans Wake into plinking noises. This curious object with its inexplicable translation symbolises my central difficulty as a visual artist, that of expressing one thing in terms of another, and supports my point that conventional systems of expression are fragile, ambiguous and insufficient to convey the complexity of our lives. As Joyce puts it 'One part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wideawake language, cutanddry grammar and goahead plot.' (Tindall 1966, 18)


Tuesday 27 September


3:30pm - 5.00pm




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