An exhibition currently being held at the Art Gallery of Ballarat highlights the works of little known regional artist Chris Nicholls.
He had an intimate association with his environment, the country around the Grampians and Stawell in western Victoria. His paintings feature landscape of ancient eucalypts and flatcropped fields intersected by the Wimmera River, contain autobiographical elements and are stained with a sense of sadness.
His works reveal the artist's strong connection with the natural world and concern for the havoc which human occupation has wreaked on the environment. His intense images are often almost monochrome or earth-toned, dark and brooding with bold, expressive gestures and rich textures.
Postcard from the exhibition
Nicholls' devoted his life almost entirely to drawing, painting and sometimes filmmaking and printing, mixing rarely with other artists and exhibiting little.
This exhibition focuses on work dating from the 1980s to 2009, and includes some of the artist's diaries and sketchbooks.
Sadly, Chris Nicholls died in 2010 and this is the first time his work has been shown since his death.
It is hoped that this exhibition will help to raise awareness of the work of this important artist.