Tom Nicholson’s work Printed pages/Bearing images/1998-2008 began with an idea when the artist was at university. Intrigued by images in the media of people bearing images of other people the artist began to collect every image he found that fitted that description. This was a process that went on for ten years without a clear objective in sight. Instead the artist enacted the process of collection for collecting’s sake. His artwork for far and wide: Narrative into Idea is a video compilation of every image on slow dissolve. The work acts as a slice of subjective history, a way to understand a period of time within a tight descriptive framework. It also acts as an equalizer, as protests and celebrations from one culture to the next dissolve into each other, linking these unconnected events into an event of shared humanity.
Nicholson’s more recent work has involved banner marches where people – volunteering members of the public – carry large banners of faces. These banners are carried along routes that conceptually map national boarders created in the last 100 years. Nicholson undertook these marches in various cities, including Berlin, Melbourne and Sydney, between 2001 and 2005.
Collecting was a thinking mechanism, a process related to the speculative activity of drawing. The collection of pictures came to feed the development of my banner marches……As it grew in size and scope, the activity of collecting these pictures began to assume the shape of a work in its own right. Printed pages/ Bearing images/ 1998-2008 is an attempt to elaborate the collection according to its own logic: images proliferating images; an insistent but shifting relation between the image and animation; and the confusion, merging and/or conflict between the faces that bear and the faces that are borne, between culprit and victim.
See more of Tom Nicholson’s work