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CLINTON NAIN




 
ARTIST PROFILE

CLINTON NAIN
Born 1971, Carlton, Victoria

Since obtaining his Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) at the Victorian College of the Arts (1992–94), and more recently his Master of Fine Art (Research) at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales (2001–03), Clinton Nain has established a significant place in the critical debates of contemporary Australian art. Nain’s work lifts the rug to uncover a poorly hidden shame of Australia’s past and present, the orchestrated ill-treatment of the traditional owners of this land. Nain’s potent imagery exposes the brutal and contemptuous nature underlying European settlement of the many Indigenous nations of this continent, now Australia. He utilises an apt sense of humour to inject these somewhat bleak topics with eroticism and wit. He is also a dancer, performer and storyteller. In 1999, Nain began his ‘White King, Blak Queen’ series, exploring the tainted path of colonisation through a unique and vital black feminine perspective, challenging white masculine dominance. Through performance, storytelling and staining fabrics with bleach, the Blak Queen boldly quests for equality. Nain explored these ideas further in his 2001 Sherman Galleries exhibition, ‘Whitens, Removes Stains, Kills Germs’. The artist’s brother, writer John Harding, states: ‘The Blak Queen is omnipotent, knows no boundaries and recognises no colonising fences. She has even transformed herself into a bird and flown out a window! She can turn everyday household items into weapons against colonisation and the fading of memory. Her splashes of bleach become evocative images of lingering memories, prodding us to remember the truth.’ (Melbourne, 2001) More recently, Nain’s ‘Mission Brown’ series, first shown at Sherman Galleries in the 2003 exhibition, ‘Living Under the Bridge’, provokes us to consider those living under the crumbling bridges of reconciliation.

BIOGRAPHY
1971 Born Carlton, Victoria
1990–91 Advanced Certificate of the Arts, Northern Metropolitan College of TAFE
1992–94 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne
2001–2003 Master of Fine Arts (Research), College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Lives and works in Melbourne

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2007 Hurdy Gurdy (Wrong Way Around), Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2006 A E I O U, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne
2005 Clinton Nain, Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
The Dirty Deal Ain’t Clean, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
2004 You Never Said Thank You, 138 Lygon Street, Brunswick, Melbourne
2003 Living Under the Bridge, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Clinton Nain, Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
2001 Whitens, Removes Stains, Kills Germs, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
2000 White King Blak Queen, Brisbane Powerhouse, Live Arts, Brisbane
The Bleach is Blak, Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
Heritage Colours, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne
1999 Seven Days Seven Nights of Blak Magic, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
It Reigns White King, Midsumma, Platform 2, The Thin Line, Melbourne
Big Yellow Cloud, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne Festival, Melbourne
1998–99 Aboriginal Embassy 1972, 4th National Indigenous Heritage Art Award
1998 Brilliant Blackness, Open Season Gallery, Melbourne
Over My Blak Body, Lavender Nights, Melbourne
1997 Pitched Blak, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1996 Nambundah Festival Exhibition, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2007 Celebrating Aboriginal Rights, curator Rhonda Davis, Macquarie University Art Gallery, Sydney
2006 Landmarks, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Dancelines: Contemporary Indigenous Art Inspired by Bangarra Dance Theatre, The Arts Centre, Melbourne
2005 Paper Chase, Nellis Caston Gallery, Melbourne
L’art urbain du Pacifique, Saint-Auvent Castle, Limosin, France
Bleak Epiphanies: an exhibition of small black things, Virginia Wilson Art in association with William Wright Artists’ Projects, Sydney
2004 One Of: Festivus 04, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Masters of COFA, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Our Place: Indigenous Australia Now, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
Art & Champagne, Friends of the Art Gallery of New South Wales Research Library and Archive, Australian Galleries, Sydney (fundraiser)
Fundraising Event, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
2003 Beneath the Monsoon: Visions North of Capricorn, Artspace, Mackay; Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns; Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, QLD
An Indigenous COFA Presence, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
2002 Group Exhibition, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
Artful Park, Centennial Parklands, Sydney
Gatherings, Queensland Indigenous Art Promotion Project, Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane
What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Post Mullet: New Australian Style, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
Queer Family, Midsummer Festival, Span Galleries, Melbourne
2001 Bennet Nain Parr Tillers, Sherman Galleries Goodhope, Sydney
2000 The Art of Place, Old Parliament House, Canberra
Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
Goin’, Goin’, Gone, fundraising exhibition for lesbian and gay anti-violence project, Lizard Lounge Arts Space, Sydney
Beyond the Pale: Contemporary Indigenous Art, curator Brenda Croft, 2000 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, AGSA, Adelaide
1999–2003 We Are Australian, George Adams Gallery, Melbourne
1999 Stolen, World Vision Australia, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney
Walkabout Gallery Exhibition, Paddington Town Hall, Sydney
The Art of Place, Old Parliament House, Canberra
Fiction Factory, Project Space, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Mapping Our Countries, Djamu Gallery, Sydney
1998–99 Ilan Pasin (This is Our Way): Torres Strait Art, two-year tour of Australia and the Pacific: Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns; Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville; The Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne; Tandanya: National Aboriginal Cultural Institute, Adelaide; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery, Campbelltown; National Archives of Australia, Canberra
1998 One Night Only, exhibition of new work by Melbourne artists, Stripp Gallery, Melbourne
Natives Dancing, Dream Run, Quality Street, Fresh & Blood, A Sydney Story 1788–1988, Museum of Sydney, Sydney
Black Roots, Boomalli Aboriginal Artists’ Co-op, Sydney
Urban Dreaming Different Meaning, Project Space, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Pauline Hansen – Co-Existence Australian Artists Against Racism, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1997 I Had a Dream: Australian Art in the 1960s, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
More than a Piece of Paper, Graduate Centre, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
1967–1997: 30 Years On, Linden Gallery, Melbourne
Primavera 1997, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
1996 Bay Watch, Grand Central Gallery, Melbourne
Next Wave Festival Exhibition, Linden Gallery, Melbourne
We Iri-We Homeborn, Grand Central Gallery, Melbourne
1995 Blak City Culture, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, three-year national travelling exhibition
New Faces New Directions, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
Dja Dja Wrung Womin-Je-Ku-Werreneen (William Bit: Welcome to our Homeland), Bendigo Arts Festival, Bendigo, VIC
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Week, St Francis Church, Melbourne
Art of the Men, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne
1994 Blak City Culture, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne
Power of the Land, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
1993 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Exhibition, World Trade Centre, New York
Duality: A World Within a World, Melbourne Fringe Festival
1992 Koori Art Exhibition, Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne
Koori Arts Exhibition, La Trobe University Art Museum, Melbourne
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Week, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne, sponsored by Contemporary Australian Visions
Kitch'en Koori, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne
1990 Fringe Festival MultiMedia Exhibition, Melbourne

DANCE AND PERFORMANCE
2006 A E I O U, performance, Nellie Castan Gallery, Melbourne
2005 Where’s Jemima, L’art urbain du Pacifique, Saint-Auvent Castle, Limosin, France
Embark on this journey, Dancelines: Contemporary Indigenous Art Inspired by Bangarra Dance Theatre, The Arts Centre, Melbourne
2004 You Never Said Thank You!, performance, 138 Lygon Street, Brunswick, Melbourne
The 4th Victorian Indigenous Playwrights Conference, Ilbigeri Victorian Indigenous Performing Arts Awards, presented the Aunty Eleanor Harding Memorial Award, Bunjilaka Aboriginal Centre, Melbourne Museum, Melbourne
2003 Traditional Owners’ Ceremony, choreography and performance, Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne
Bunjil: Creation Story, choreography, Moomba Waterfest Parade, Melbourne
2000 Bunjil: Creation Story, choreography and performance, Melbourne Festival Opening, Melbourne
1999 Respect for Our Elders, Project Space, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Adornment, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
Which Way Cabaret, Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne
Big Yellow Cloud, performance, Galllery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne
White King Blak Queen, installation and performance, Melbourne
Torres Strait Dance, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Koori Day, Melbourne
1998 Sister Romper: Giving Indigenous Women a Voice, Collingwood Town Hall, Melbourne
Mayer’s Community Day: A Festival of Unity and Reconciliation, Gasworks Park, City of Port Phillip, VIC
Mommy Dearest, Prince of Wales Hotel, Melbourne
Black Featherette, Stick With Wik (fundraiser)
1997 We Iri, We Homeborn, We Just Too Deadly, Grand Central, Melbourne
St Kilda Writers’ Festival, Gershwin Room, Esplanade Hotel, Melbourne
Up the Ladder, Melbourne Workers’ Theatre, toured Sydney and regional Victoria
I Can’t Sleep At Night, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1996 Nambundah Festival Exhibition, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1993 Second World Indigenous Youth Conference, Darwin
Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne
St Kilda Pacific Arts Festival, Melbourne
Seminar, Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Hilton Hotel, Melbourne
National Liturgical Music Convention, Melbourne and Kilmore
1991 Bony, TV series, Grundy Television Productions
1990 Melbourne Fringe Festival, Melbourne
The City of Melbourne: ATSI Cross Cultural Workshop, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Ilbijerri ATSI Theatre Cooperative, Melbourne
1985 Royal Melbourne Show, Melbourne

FILM AND TELEVISION
2007 Art in Reverse, ABC TV (3 June)
2005 Sunday Arts, Panel Discussion, ABC TV
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, TEN Network,
Art in Reverse, Ovation Channel
2003 George Negus Tonight, ABC TV (6 October)
2001 The Arts Show, SBS TV
2000 Tiddas Special, ABC TV
Bent TV, ‘Queer Family’, Channel 31
Coming Out, discussion panel (10 May)
Songlines, ABC TV, special on ‘Festival of the Dreaming’ (8 October)
I Can’t Sleep at Night, performance
Pitched Black, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
1991 Bony, TV series, Grundy’s

RADIO INTERVIEWS
2006 The Deep End, Radio National
Aboriginal, SBS Radio
Arts Up, 3k en D, France
Exhibit A, Radio National with Julie Copland
Survival Show, Koori 3CR
2005 Ursula Raymond interview, ABC Radio Darwin
2003 Not Another Koori Show, 3CR
2000 ‘Reconciliation: What is it? Should Queers Say Sorry?’, Feast 2000: Adelaide Lesbian and Gay Festival’, live debate, Adelaide Radio
Art to Lunch, Radio 4ZZZ, Brisbane
1997 Arts Yarn Up, Sydney
1996 2SER radio, Sydney
1995 Te-Up-Oko-Ote-Ika, Maori Radio
Altered States, 3RRR
1994 Not Another Koori Show, 3CR
1992 Aboriginal Program, 3EA

LECTURES
2006 Landmarks, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne (with Judith Ryan)
Erub has a bitumen road now, Landmarks, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Exploring Landmarks, Women’s Association one-day seminar, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Embark on this journey / into acid reign, Dancelines: Contemporary Indigenous Art inspired by Bangarra Dance Theatre, The Arts Centre, Melbourne
2005 L’Art Urbain Du Pacifique, Saint-Auvent, France
2003 Living Under the Bridge, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Whitens, Removes Stains, Kills Germs, Karen Brown Gallery, Darwin
2000 The Bleach is Blak, Flinders Art Museum, Adelaide
White King Blak Queen and Beyond the Pale, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
1998-99 Visual Arts Department, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE, Melbourne
Koori Art and Design, Department of Visual Arts, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
Footscray Campus, Victoria University, Melbourne
1998 Ilan Pasin (This is Our Way): Torres Strait Art, Cairns Regional Gallery, Cairns
1997 Linden Gallery, Melbourne

COLLECTIONS
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
The Australian Museum, Sydney
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide
Northern Metropolitan College of TAFE, Melbourne
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Council, Melbourne
Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation, Adelaide
City of Port Phillip, Victoria
BHP Billiton, Sydney
DNA Design Nation Pty Ltd
HRA & Associates, Sydney
Rio Tinto
Jean-Marie Tijbou Cultural Centre, Noumea
Private collections

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY
2007 Barbara Messer, ‘Blak Queen’, Media Arts, Alumni Edition, COFA, issue 19, 2007, pp. 8–9
Brenda Croft, Hurdy Gurdy (Wrong Way Around), catalogue essay, Sherman Galleries, Sydney
Robert Nelson, ‘Clinton Nain: a e I o u’, http://www.theage.com.au/news/arts-reviews/ , 31 May 2006
Laura Murray Cree (ed.), Twenty: Sherman Galleries 1986–2006, Craftsman House, Melbourne, 2006
Mary O'Brien, ‘Indigenous visual artists step up to Bangarra’, Metro News and Reviews, Age , 8 February 2006
Robin Usher, ‘Dreamtime art takes center stage in landmark show’, Age , 1 March 2006)
Fran Cusworth, ‘Truth at road's end’, Herald Sun, 14 February 2006
‘From out of the earth’, The Critics, Age, 11 February 2006
‘Survival on invasion day tribute to 218 years of ongoing indigenous dissent’,
National Indigenous Times, 26 January 2006
2005 John McDonald, Surface Tension, The Art Life, http://www.artlife.blogspot.com , June 2005
Ian Gould, ‘Secrets and lives’, interview with Clinton Nain, Sydney Star Observer, 2 June 2005, p. 7
Samantha Comte, A Short Ride in a Fast Machine: A Recent History of Contemporary Art, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces and Black Ink, Melbourne, 2005
Bleak Epiphanies: An Exhibition of Small Black Things Metro, Sydney Morning Herald, 2005
‘Erub has a bitumen road now’, Art Up to the Eyeballs, Reader Magazine, June–July 2005
‘First person, secrets and lives, Clinton Nain uses art to tell stories of sexuality, cultural identity and hidden oppression’, Sydney Star Observer , 2 June 2005
2004 Joanna Mendelssohn, ‘Clinton Nain: Living under the bridge’, Artlink, vol. 24, no. 1, March 2004, pp. 85–6
Andrew Frost, ‘50 of Australia’s most collectable artists’, Australian Art Collector, issue 27, January–March 2004
2003 Diana Simmonds, 'Must see', Sunday Telegraph, 23 November 2003, p. 126
Clinton Nain, Beyond Place: a journey in broken English, Master of Fine Arts, Research, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney
2001 Andrew Frost, ‘Telling stories’, Australian Style, no. 57, November
Courtney Kidd, ‘The pain in stain is the message from Nain’, Galleries, Sydney Morning Herald, 2 May
2000 Wendy Walker, ‘Speaking of reconciliation’, Visual Arts, The Advertiser Feast 2000, November 2000
Plaz Vaughan, ‘Showing the way: Queer family’ Herald Sun: Arts and Entertainment Front Row, January 2000
‘Yarra’s heritage colours’ City of Yarra News, vol. 6, no. 6, December 2000
Barbara Kappinski, ‘Blak out’, Blue, no. 30, December 2000 (photography: Paul Freeman)
Sylvia Kleinert & Margo Neale (eds), The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 2000
‘Feast Festival preview’, DNA, October 2000
Doreen Mellor, ‘Beyond the Pale’, review, Art & Australia, vol. 38, no. 1, September–November, 2000
Elizabeth Fortescue, ‘Dolls date with destiny’, Daily Telegraph, 28 July 2000
D. J. Huppatz, ‘Beyond the Pale’, Like, 2000
G. Lee, ‘Clinton Nain’, in B. L Croft (ed.), Beyond the Pale 2000, Adelaide Bicentennial of Australian Art, Adelaide, 2000
Peter Cochrane, ‘Festival of hope amid anger and reminders of a sorry past’, Sydney Morning Herald, 2000
Michael Fitzgerald, ‘Renewing the country’ Time, 3 April 2000
Jo Litson, ‘Powersurge boosts culture’, Australian, 28 April 2000
Gabriella Coslovich, ‘Sista girl powers on’, The Age, 2000
Rebekeh Devlin, ‘An artistic challenge to a pale limitation”, Age, 22 May 2000
1999 Rachel Anthony, ‘Which way’, Time Out, Melbourne Times, 1999
Vaughan Palz, ‘Nain but the best’, Herald Sun, 1999
Bruce James, ‘Art Festivals King Hit’, Sydney Morning Herald, 1999
‘Beyond the Pale’, 13 February 1999
1998 T. Mosby with B. Robinson, Ilan Pasin (This Is Our Way): Torres Strait Art, exhibition catalogue, Cairns, Queensland, 1998
Phil O’Toole, ‘Reviews’, (Playset), Eyeline, no. 35, 1998
Janina Harding, ‘Artist profile’, Yarmbler vol. 4, 1998
C. Moore Hardy, Primavera 1997, 18 September 1998
Bruce James, ‘Going for the jugular’, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 October 1998
‘If you do nothing else this week Black is Black Featherette
Stick with Wik’, MSO Weekly, 9 January 1998
Torres Strait Islanders Step Out, The Arts on Friday, Australian, November 1998
Melissa Carter, ‘Significant risk emerging artists struggling to be seen’, Artlink, 8 January 1988
‘Indigenous Mardi Gras (Black Roots)’, Outrage, no. 177, February 1998
1997 Olympic Arts Festival (special issue), vol. 35, 1997
Susan Cochrane, ‘An outsiders view: Torres Strait Islander art’, Art & Australia, vol. 35, no. 1, spring 1997, illus., p. 121
Anna Johnson, ‘Young at art’, Good Weekend, Age, 26 April 1997
‘Celebrating the new and the deadly’, Southern Cross, 25 June 1997
‘Artists boldly show the way to reconciliation’, Melbourne Review, 25 June1997
‘The complete guide to the visual arts program’, TIME, 9 August 1997
- ‘I can’t sleep at night’, Earth Strokes Festival of the Dreaming, Hogarth Galleries, 6 October 1997
‘Primavera exhibition’, Australian Jewish News, Sydney Edition, 5 September 1997
‘Field of dreams’, photograph by Robert Pearce, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 September 1997
1996 ‘No more tears’, Melbourne Star Observer, 26 January 1996
1995 Roger Benjamin, ‘BLAKNESS – Blak city culture’, Art & Text, College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 1995
Anne Marsh, ‘Melbourne Fringe Festival program’, Melbourne Fringe Festival, 1995
1994 C. Williamson & Hetti Perkins, Blakness: Black city culture, Melbourne
Hetti Perkins, ‘Blak city culture’, BLAKNESS, exhibition catalogue, 1994
‘Landmark art shows’, Melbourne Star Observer, 14 October 1994
‘Artist's cultural canvas’, Malvern-Prahran Leader, 19 October 1994
Anne Marsh, ‘Making light of a dark world', Herald Sun, 19 October 1994
‘Tales of the city’, Good Weekend, Age, 29 October 1994
1993 ‘Recognition: The way forward’, Australian Catholic Social Justice Committee, (A.C.S.J.C.)
1992 Flanagan, ‘Here and there, the Impulse of Brett Whiteley’, Age, 18 July 1992




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