When I think of men and their sheds I conjure up the image of a grey brutal space with a staunch, proud occupant.
However, Tony Nicholls was closer to a kid in a lolly shop when I found him out in his shed, with a grin as wide as the Cheshire cat. No male bravado or posturing, but a willingness to talk about his work and the tools he uses to accomplish it.
Tony's latest sculptures are birthed out of his shed. They have been created with all the components that shed dwellers use, machines, tools and apparatus of all kinds, but what differs is that Tony knows his materials and understands that they have a profound impact on his art practice. He embodies the new materialist idea that things have agency along with humans. He is the master craftsman, that is coaxing and encouraging the materials to have influence on the space they inhabit.
'Departure' is an exhibition of kinetic sculptures that use sound vibrations that are both audible and inaudible to the human ear. These vibrations are made visible by channelling them through speakers into intricately built machines. These machines, once installed in the gallery become creature-like, whirring and whipping and beating, vibrating an air of danger.
This exhibition is part of Wintec School of Media Arts’ highly anticipated Ramp Festival 2021, an event that brings creative-based thinkers from across Aotearoa to Kirikiriroa, Hamilton from 4 - 6 August.