Nicholas Selenitsch’s practice engages in the artistic and social importance of play, specifically the concept of exploration without conclusiveness. In previous projects, Selenitsch has predominantly examined the role of conscious thought and sense in sport (which he plays), and art (which he makes) while appropriating the aesthetics of games.
In Mechanical Horses, Selenitsch reflects on another dichotomy, that of nature and culture, and presents us with moments of syntheses between the built and natural environment. Selenitsch’s new sculptures – vibrantly painted, assembled model trains – challenge the perception of a division between what humans produce (artifice, culture), and what is natural or nature. Selenitsch has painted each sculpture in different brightly coloured patterns that resemble flamboyant camouflage. Camouflage signals another duality for the artist, as it is often considered a method of disguise and a form of survival, but it can also function as an adornment, an aestheticised mode of dress that occurs across species.
Selenitsch developed these sculptures while observing his 3-year-old son’s lack of differentiation between watching snakes at the Zoo, trains at Spencer St Station or excavators on a construction site. These sculptures are an attempt to echo the curiosity and openness – the pure wonderment – with which his son approaches these phenomena. They are a guide for us too: a model where the artist invites us to play at looking and consider the beauty and peculiarity of our surrounds.
The Mind on Fire, Incinerator Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; Kangaroo Court, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Morwell, 2015; Nick Selenitsch – Play, Shepparton Art Museum, Shepparton, 2014; Chalk and Clay, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Folly, Plinth Projects, Edinburgh Gardens, Fitzroy, 2014; Relief, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2013; Felt, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2012; Structural Goals, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2011; Linemarking, Y3K Gallery, Melbourne, 2010; psychic income, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, 2009. Select group exhibitions: Overdrawn, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, 2018; Design & Play, RMIT Design Hub, Melbourne, 2016;TarraWarra Biennial: Endless Circulation, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healesville, 2016; Merchant Cities, The Substation, Melbourne, 2014;The Gathering II: A survey exhibition of Australian sculpture, Wangaratta Art Gallery, Wangaratta, 2014; Pattern, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne, 2014; Melbourne Now, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2013; Collage: The Heide Collection, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2013; New Psychedelia, UQ Art Museum, Brisbane, 2011; Freehand: Recent Australian Drawing, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, 2010.Artist’s profile