Nell: Rock ‘n’ Roll and Buddhism at SAM

In 1976, Aussie rockers AC/DC toured twice to Shepparton. Now, 40 years later the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) will salute this historic moment with a major survey show by the devout Buddhist rock ‘n’ roll inspired artist, Nell.

From 8 October to 27 November 2016, SAM presents the first major survey exhibition of artwork by the artist know as Nell. Nell is a multi-disciplinary show that explores some of Nell’s key themes and brings together significant bodies of work by the artist that showcase her diverse range of interests and media.

SAM Director, Rebecca Coates said:

“Over the years, apart from Nell’s love of AC/DC, perhaps the most constant thing about Nell’s practice is the sheer variety in her range of materials. Painting, installation, music and video are all co-opted to examine the big questions: life, happiness, spirituality and structured forms of religion, silence and noise, and the darker sides of negativity, sadness or death. While the language may be simple, her understanding of its philosophical underpinnings and art historical context is not.”

Nell’s work consistently adopts different media and forms. The exhibition spans various genres that include painting, installation, sculpture, video and ceramics. It features Nell’s major installation The Wake, 2014 – 2015 first shown at Art Gallery South Australia as part of Adelaide Biennale. It will also include a commissioned work developed around the idea of the wunderkammer or ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ from objects drawn from the SAM Collection. This will also include works by leading contemporary artists who have played an inspirational role in Nell’s own creative process.

SAM’s exhibition fuses rock ‘n’ roll and Buddhist traditions with a series of works that explore binary opposites that we easily recognise in our everyday lives; black/white, night/day, male/female, quiet/loud, contained/uncontained. These opposites are used to explore the idea that nothing is absolute.

SAM will also present a series of public programs such as All Ages Rock ‘n’ roll Yoga; a yoga session in the park choreographed to a set list of AC/DC hits; and The Art of Zen; an artist led meditation session inside the Nell exhibition space. Further information can be found on SAM’s website

Important dates

Exhibition Dates

Saturday 8 October to Sunday 27 November, SAM

Media Preview

Friday 7 October, 10.30am to 11.30pm, SAM

Artist Talk – with Nell

Saturday 8 October 3 to 4pm, SAM

Artist lead meditation “The Art of Zen”

Saturday 8 October 2 to 3pm, SAM

All Ages Rock ‘n’ Roll yoga

Sunday 23 October 11am to12noon, Queens Gardens Shepparton

IMAGE: Nell, QUIET/LOUD, 2015, single‐channel digital video, 16:9, colour. Videography: Tina Havelock Stevens Sound: Ingrid Rowell. Commissioned by Campbelltown Arts Centre for Transmission curated by Carrie Miller. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney © the artist.