22 February, 2006

Rose Nolan

star of the month
at the women's artist registry

at contemporaryart.com

at NZ Art monthly


Rose Nolan
February - March 2000

Australian artist, Rose Nolan's WALK TALL 2000 was a new banner work commissioned for the window space at the Adam Art Gallery to coincide with the Language Matters exhibition (11 February - 26 March 2000). As with her work in other media, Nolan's banners include words and fragments of text, often 'found' quotes.

Banners and flags have been central to Nolan's practice and large-scale hangings have been the focus of her recent bodies of work such as BIG WORD COMBOS. Emotive character references such as ACE/HERO/STAR or LOSER/FLOP. DUD/DUFFER/FOOL are commonly incorporated in either 'UP' and 'DOWN' sets of words.

By including a sense of the heroic (and by contrast, the inadequate or deficient) in these works Nolan connects them with both the provenance of modernist art and the figures of legend in our cultural and personal lives. The combination of colours and tone of instruction or proclamation recall political or revolutionary banners or the art of the Russian Constructivists of the early twentieth century.

In being self consciously handmade, these banners draw attention to the artist's materials and production. Their rough aesthetic and unprepossessing character distinguishes them from more familiar flags and banners. WALK TALL references the style of popular sports banners, more feeling and fandom than fine finish.

The words WALK TALL, are at once both personal and public, ambiguously falling somewhere between a private mantra and public command (Nolan's initials add a further autobiographical element). In this fusion of the interior and communal, European and local, political and sporting, who (or which team) is Nolan reminding to "walk tall"?

from VUW NZ
uni melb review
age review

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