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Never quite as it seems: Melissa Nickols at the COX Gallery

Melissa Nickols is an emerging artist working on Ngunnawal and Ngambri land. Her practice explores the effects of observation and repetition, often of ordinary things.

“My work is constructed using post-consumer waste cardboard as a base. My current practice involves making small three-dimensional pieces, often using the cardboard itself as a substrate, to create a digital image. I then laser-cut the image into acrylic paint on cardboard. I assemble the resulting pieces, using pattern and iteration to further free both the image and the substrate from their usual meaning.”

[Above: photography by Brenton McGeachie]



Melissa’s approach brings together contrasting methods and materials: hand crafting, the precision of a laser cutter, the material quality of surface, and the base of everyday factory-produced packaging. Creating tensions between abstraction and representation, the work is never quite as it seems, inviting us to look closer, and contemplate.

In 2023 Melissa graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts from the School of Art and Design, and was awarded the COX Prize as part of the ANU’s Emerging Artist Support Scheme. She is supported by Makerspace ANU to continue her work in 2024.





Never quite as it seems will be shown at the COX Gallery.

When: 18 Mar – 19 April 2024, with the gallery open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
Where: The COX Gallery is located at 1/19 Eastlake Parade, Kingston, ACT

Lisa DeSantis