Ideals and Other Stories
TNSG is proud to present our first exhibition with Sydney based painter Nick Pont.
This group of drawings and paintings, created between 2014 and now, are a collection of narratives recording Nick Pont’s experiences of three years. Following on from his 2016 show, ‘Ideals’, at Sheffer Gallery, these are stories of travel, at home and abroad, and everyday excursions brought alive by a painterly element of the otherworldly and mythological.
Pont’s style is quintessentially Australian, and so are the stories he tells. He cites, among others, Sidney Nolan and Brett Whiteley as artistic influences, as well as author Tim Winton. The painters’ influences are noticeable, while Winton’s ideas of character mystique and cultural escapism are highly visible in Pont’s work.
The novelist Victor Lodato said about short story writing, “The first sentence is often like a crazy blob of paint that my subconscious throws down on the page – and then I work from there toward a greater understanding of the picture.” The inverse is true of Nick Pont’s practice when it comes to his ink works: “The narrative aspect of my work is always based on a life experience or from a distant memory and then moves on and involves other thoughts, experiences and reference material e.g. photographs, literature or historical documents.” Where Lodato’s craft begins with a blob of paint to later form a narrative, Pont begins with a story and arrives at an image.
Nepalese Hill Story was drawn from his time in Nepal. Pont was a guest with a man who
conscribed him to help purchase a chicken for dinner. They travelled up a winding road to the top of a hill to find a rooster that he then carried through monsoonal weather and snaking escarpments back to the house where it was killed and prepared. The four-panelled work tells this story like a fairy tale. It is dark, yet full of light, somewhat gruesome though still playful. With a mix of assertive line work and what might best be described as a painted warmth, emanating from a work using only black ink, the work has a hint of the magical.
Paradise’s Uncomfortable Reality is a brighter work, though the subject matter is not. During Pont’s time in Byron Bay, there was an unusually high number of shark attacks. The continuous coverage crept into Pont’s work, where he found himself drawing sharks, over and over. Six of these sharks were combined into what is a powerful nine panel work, encapsulating the experience and the beautiful mystique of the prehistoric predator.
‘Ideals and Other Stories’ is a collection of short stories in the form of ink works, influenced by Pont’s travels in southeast Asia, his residency in Byron Bay and his life as an artist and surfer in Sydney