The following is a school art assignment that was done by Tom Simpson, a young artist from Australia in his last years of high school education. Tom emailed me asking if he could send me some questions for his art assignment as he'd chosen me as the artist he wanted to write about. To say the least I was chuffed. Thanks for your interest in my work Tom and anyone else who would care to write an assignment about me let alone ask a question, don't hesitate because I'd be more than happy.
Art Assignment by Tom Simpson -
At the young age of twenty four, Nick Chalmers a contemporary, Australian artist has taken a somewhat different approach to the traditional process and convention of exhibition. One of his most recent exhibitions ‘Ze Frog and Toad’, involved shoving a bunch of portable artworks in the back of an Avis hire truck and embarking on a tour starting in Melbourne around the whole east coast of Australia, stopping every now and again to exhibit his work out of the back of the truck.
Chalmers created ’Merman Man‘ in acrylic and ink on paper. The work features a man’s face superimposed on a map. Lines within the map such as roads, rivers and contour lines provide the boundaries of the face. The background of the map also provides an interesting contrast to the detailed line work of the foreground.
The focal point of the work is the large male face superimposed over the map on the right hand side. Perhaps it is a self-portrait symbolically tying Chalmers to his hometown and the important of its spirit of place to his sense of identity.
The original features of the map appear ghostly behind the superimposed face – a lovely metaphor for how the features of the land imprint themselves on our psyches.
Chalmers specifically chose a map of the Gold Coast’s Mermaid Beach as the background of this work as that it is where he grew up and still resides today. This piece was also exhibited at 19 Karen, a gallery in Mermaid Beach. As such, the work pays homage to his hometown.
Chalmers discovered his love for art at a young age. He studied it through his school years and has continued it as both a hobby and career later in life. He has a website/blog that showcases all his artworks new and old and photos from all his exhibits.
In 1998 Chalmers was awarded the Primary School Creative Arts Award at his school’s end of year awards’ night, at which he received his first ever cheque for one-hundred big ones. His art teacher at the time told him to never stop painting and from that night on he never has. Over the years he has been creating artwork in a range of different media including: acrylic, ink, short films and zines.