6 Jun 2013

Nathan Coley: Appearances

Nathan Coley: Appearances, Courtesy of the artist and Haunch of Venison, London

Nathan Coley

28 May – 24 July 2011

Turner prize exhibiting artist Nathan Coley creates a major commission and exhibition for ACCA.

Nathan Coley is well known for his small scale and life-size models, public sculptures and slide lectures, which are deliberately allegorical. His works focus on the ways in which belief systems and society values are reflected and reinforced in its edifices, public spaces and built environments.

Coley is especially known for his works relating to religious architecture and places of congregation. For the Jupiter Sculpture Park, Edinburgh, he created a graveyard which was both memorial and folly. His illuminated ‘fairground’ billboards have emblazoned enigmatic messages such as the infamous ‘There Will Be No Miracles Here’: a reference to religion in the context of Monarchy and Enlightenment.

His mammoth project, The Lamp of Sacrifice saw the artist re-creating all the places of worship in Birmingham and Edinburgh – a labor of months in which the artist made cardboard models in the gallery, and in which all denominations congregated with equality.
Coley also erected his provocative illuminated sign Heaven Is A Place Where Nothing Ever Happens on the ACCA Forecourt during the Melbourne International Arts Festival in 2010 to much public attention.

For this major new exhibition at ACCA, opening in May, ACCA’s large exhibition hall will be transformed into a civic plaza, defined by a series of cast concrete platforms in situ, inspired by designs of Oscar Niemeyer for Brazil’s iconic modernist capital city, Brasilia, and an illuminated sculptural tree based on a remix of his illuminated signs with local fairground architecture. A scale model of Melbourne’s Scots’ Church will also be featured along with other new works in the parallel galleries.

A highlight of the exhibition will be a new ‘lecture’ work, ‘Another Lecture’ where actress Cate Blanchett becomes architect, narrating a slide show of ‘supposed’ architectural projects her office has undertaken. Humourist and ironic, the images are of non-architecture, urban fracture and decay found in Coley’s native Glasgow and field trips through Melbourne.

A high profile artist who lives and works in Glasgow, Coley has exhibited widely in Europe and the UK: Jupiter Artland, Edinburgh (2010), Kunsthallen, Norway (2009), Edinburgh International Festival (2009), Folkestone Triennial, Kent (2008), Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (2008), De La Warr Pavilion, East Sussex (2008), MCA, Belgrade, Serbia (2007), Tate Liverpool (2006) and British Art Show 06, Baltic, UK and SCAPE, Christchurch, New Zealand (2002).
Coley’s project, says co-ordinating curator Charlotte Day, “is one of restitution, restoration, and reflection, bringing us into closer proximity to architecture, accentuating the faith that underscores its construction and exploring its fate over time”.

NATHAN COLEY, APPEARANCES 28 May – 24 July 2011.
MEDIA INFORMATION: Katrina Hall on 0421 153 046 or email
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank.
Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am–5pm. Weekends 11am-6pm. Mondays by appointment. Tel: 03 9697 9999. Admission: Free.