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In Conversation with Nicolette Nadimi

In Conversation with Nicolette Nadimi

As part of our Artist In Residence program, the window of our Paddington store was transformed into a gallery-like space to show a body of work by local artist, Nicolette Nadimi. Created for our storefront, 'Reflection' is a large-scale rendition of Nicolette’s minimalist life drawings, which she makes to explore the nuances of the human form.

Elegant, fresh and expressive, her drawings examine interpersonal relationships and separation, themes that the artist says feel more relevant to her than ever this year. From her home in Bellevue Hill on Gadigal land, we spoke with Nicolette to learn more about this particular work and hear how she built her art practice.

A.L. Growing up, did you expect that you would one day pursue a career as an artist?  

I grew up in a very creative household with both my parents heavily immersed in the design world. My mother studied fine art, and my father was an antiques dealer, and we were always encouraged to use our imagination. This is something I am very grateful for! They would take my siblings and I to art galleries, museums, antique fairs, anywhere and everywhere that would spark the imagination. However, I also understood that building a career as an artist was challenging and, sadly, something that was a bit of a luxury, so I never fully pursued it until later in my career. I ended up working in fashion and graphic design and have now finally found myself here. I think jobs are ever-evolving, and there is still so much I would love to explore; however, I now know that what I’d like to explore is all within the same realm of “art”, such as sculpture and ceramics, painting.  

Nicolette wears the Kara Dress in Wheat.

A.L. What were your favourite subjects to draw as a child?  

As a child, I would often draw with my mum on the kitchen table; later in life, we would take life drawing classes together. Our style of drawing is quite similar! When I was young, I loved drawing make-believe characters from some of the books I had read.   

A.L. Your illustrations celebrate the female form; when did you become interested in this as a subject? 

People have always inspired me. The idea of dressing the human form is something that intrigues me, which is why I initially pursued fashion. As I have gotten older, I realised how special it is to be a woman and how hard it is. We all struggle with ideas on how we should be, but we should celebrate what we have and what our bodies do for us! I recently became a mum; this brought how special we all are to the front of my mind. I hope I can inspire my daughter to believe in and love herself.  

A.L. Is there a time of day (or night) when you do your best work?  

I like to work with music playing through headphones and usually alone or with someone I trust. Art and the act of drawing makes me feel quite vulnerable, I feel shy when I'm drawing.

A.L. Can you tell us about the artworks you’re showing in our storefront; did you enjoy working on something of a larger scale?

The piece is related to ourselves and our current global situation due to Covid. This time of stillness, forced contemplation and reflection. It uses both the male and female form to explore ideas of relationships and separation. I wanted the piece to be relatable for passers-by. We are all in the Covid chaos, social beings caught up in an isolating, fast-paced world. I hope that this piece ‘Reflection’ speaks to a broad audience. I adored working on something of a larger scale; this is something that I hope to do more of in the future.

A.L. How do you name your works? 

I am definitely a visual person, so naming my pieces doesn’t always come easily to me. I like to keep it short and sharp and slightly open-ended to allow the viewer to relate on some level. 

A.L. Where have you been looking for inspiration lately? 

It has been harder to make time to look for inspiration lately; with having my daughter, having free time or a free mind is less available to me so I have been going off emotions rather than visual inspiration. However, I usually like to go to exhibitions or watch documentaries about other artists. I look a lot to the internet and books for inspiration, and I am always inspired by the abundance of amazing creatives you discover on Instagram.  

Learn more about Nicolette, you can find her here.

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