Artist profile – YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesButNo.




“Yes! Yes! Yes! Thankyou, but no.” In times of global recession is this a phrase that you’ve been hearing a bit lately?  Well, despite the obviously negative connotations of such a statement, it has actually been a source of inspiration for Gold Coast artist, Nicholas Chalmers

The title of his debut solo show opening this Friday night at Ninelives, Nick says it’s “kind of about what I’ve been going through in regards to jobs. I haven’t had a job for a while and I’ve been going to heaps of job interviews and everyone’s just like ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re great! Thankyou for your time, but we don’t want you.’”

“I’ve made a little really really basic short [film] about it and I’ve called that ‘the process’ in regards to the interview process.”

Other than the difficulties of the working world, Nick’s inspiration comes from everyday life and the world around him.goyes-board

“Just life experience, travelling and just seeing the world. I paint about a lot of political issues and religion but nothing too harsh or serious. Then there’s the every day person that influences me, just how they look and how they hold themself and what they’re wearing and just what they do.”

Nick’s art ranges from intricate and finely detailed ink work to short films and photography. “I like to mix it up because I feel when I do a lot of the one thing I get bored. I’m always sort of chopping and changing,” he says.

“I don’t no if I’ve got any favourite, I love all of them for different reasons. The animation thing I’ve been doing a bit of and just really basic [stuff] but that’s really fun and something a bit new for me.”

It’s obvious that travelling has a massive influence on Nick’s art.  His use of maps in his art was inspired by a San Frasiscan artist but Nick has integrated maps into his works in a unique and creative way. “I really like the colours in the maps, especially old maps,” says Nick. “For me it’s more of a travel thing. I wanna see the world as much as I can, even Australia itself.”

“I’m fortunate enough to have travelled and I never wanna stop. I’d rather be renting the rest of my life and travelling at the same time, [than] paying off a mortgage for ten years… I like the fine detail. Maps are for people that are going somewhere and how to find how to get there.”


Living on the coast, the water and surfing play a big role in Nick’s life.  He once considered a career in surfing but learnt that he preferred to do it for fun.  “When I was 18 I went on the pro junior series and I was all out, and then I just lost the soul. I just died and I kind of just hated surfing for a while there and now I just love it because I’m just not doing it for the money, I’m doing it for why I started in the first place,” says Nick.

“It’s the same with art … I remember in grade seven I won the art prize at my school and I won a hundred bucks. I was just liked stoked like ‘there’s money in this too!’ Ideally I’d love to make a career out of it but I think people loose what they started art for when they start thinking too much about the big dollar sign.”


The Skinny:

Nick’s show opens this Friday night, 20th March, from 6pm. Open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 11am-4pm until the end of March. Ninelives gallery is upstairs, Mellinos Italian Restaurant, Brunswick St Mall (across from Ric’s). Website: 




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