Inside looking out 2
Curatorial insightThis painting has a mysterious uneasy energy. The bold graphic lines of the face, or mask, register some sort of emotion that is hard to guess, penetrate and turn away from. Curator Michael O’Ferrall once observed about this painting, ‘Objectified and pared down to its basic elements, the head is undoubtedly one of Nickolls’s most dramatic statements on the alienation and emptiness that he [felt] in city life. The soul-lessness of the mask and the isolated figures at the bottom of the painting evokes the impression of a surreal stage set.’ (1990 Venice Biennale Australia).