Origin of the Species
* Art by Nick Walker
* May 19th - 27th
* 17 Gallery

* ltd. edition prints
* ltd. edition light boxes

Supported by Carhartt

Slides from the show

Apish Angel
17 Gallery
Art. Nick Walker - Origin of the Species  
Cryogenic Works of Art

...Is the best way to describe Nick Walker's new pieces, at his genre-mutating exhibition 'The Origin of the Species' which was on display at 17 Gallery from May 19th until the 27th.

The main body of work, as you will see from the pictures, are about taking small elements of life, especially in terms of graffiti tools and blowing them up. Nick described it as: "An ant's eye view, taking these tiny elements, and blowing them up to the largest size I could".

Helpful hand and top photographer Alan Russell enabled Nick to do this by shooting each piece from above on a ridiculously powerful camera.

When Nick was asked about the concept behind the artwork, he replied: "These things made themselves! Relating to the fact that he uses the same nozzle when he works, overtime the build-up of hundreds of colours caught his eye. Nick said: "It was the fact that one of the smallest components, and integral parts of a spray can could then become the art itself really interested me". He said: "It was role reversal, a little cog in the graphitti culture, became the centre piece...flipping the story over."

Nick is true innovator, always-trying different methods of using a spray can, either by modifying the can, nozzle, or even using the lid, spraying upside down, and probably employing even more bizarre techniques to achieve a unique effect.

As for influences? The name keeps cropping up - 3D. Nick has known him for years as they are both Bristolians, and have worked together in the past. Nick said that even in the 80s 3D started to use stencils, and they were like: "How did that happen?" He also rates the illustrator Moebius, and new kids on the block She 1 and O2, in particular their 'Rock Group' work.

A stand out piece at the exhibition was the replica statue of ‘Christ The Redeemer' sprayed in many different colours - it was worth the visit just to see in the flesh.

On a more general tip - his favourite albums are: 'The Specials' by The Specials, 'Hello Nasty', by The Beastie Boys, and the sublime 'Shining' by Manasseh Meets The Equalizer. His favourite foods are Burritos, Curry, and the good old British Sunday Roast.

His signed, limited edition prints were superb, and at £25 each represented fantastic value for money - so check out Nick's website or the Scrawl Collective site for more of Nick's work

Until next time... Adrian J W Darby

May/June 2005

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