Felt, an exhibition of new felt-based works by Nick Selenitsch, continues Selenitsch’s strategy of adapting the aesthetics and motifs of games, sports and civic markings to create open-ended visual systems that flirt ambiguously with the rules and procedures of their source; the results of which are something akin to maps of play.
The genesis of this new body of work began with an interest in a particular material: felt. Often used to create mementoes and ephemera related to games, sports and clubs – for example, premiership flags, pin boards and pool tables - the materiality of felt also embodies associations with toys, childhood and play. The word ‘felt’ denotes the perception of sensation. By referencing the sensory, the title of the exhibition alludes to Selenitsch’s ongoing attempts to merge physical and intellectual experience.
The works in Felt reference the striking abstract forms used in earlier works, such as the temporary chalk drawings made on the streets of Frankston as part of his White Street Project Linemarking and the delicate, multi-coloured works on paper, as seen in Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing at Heide Museum of Modern Art. Inspired by everyday sites and scenarios such as the lines on sports courts and parking lots, and the imagery of road and street markings, Selenitsch’s engagement with geometric shapes has produced a unique elemental language. His interest lies in the point where recognisable imagery emerges from, or disappears into, the abstract:
‘Most such markings are created to facilitate a specific game or set of rules. The rules of my game are different. It is a game of not knowing, of suggestion and evocation. The game I wish to provoke is one of the imagination’. I
Nick Selenitsch received a Bachelor of Fine Art (Painting) with Honours from the VCA in 2003. He completed a Masters in Cultural Material Conservation at the University of Melbourne in 2005. Recent solo exhibitions include Structural Goals, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; Movements (with Arlo Mountford), RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, 2011; Linemarking, Y3K Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; psychic income, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2009; Linemarking, White Street Project, Frankston, 2009; and Building up a Head of Steam, Joint Hassels, Melbourne, 2008. Recent group exhibitions include New Psychedelia, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, 2011; Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010; gone in no time (gone in no time), Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, 2009; Victory over the Sun, Utopian Slumps, Melbourne, 2009; Y2K Melbourne Biennial, TCB art Inc., Melbourne, 2008; We Are Hidden and We Can See You, We Are Hidden and You Can See Us, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne, 2008; and 21st Century Modern – 2006 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art (as part of Slave), Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 2006. Selenitsch was the recipient of the 2009 Qantas Travelling Art Prize. In 2010 he undertook an Australia Council Skills and Arts Development studio residency in Helsinki.
I Nick Selenitsch, in Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, exhibition catalogue, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010.
View artist profile: Nick Selenitsch