It is with great joy that the Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery opens its 2022 program with Be My Once in a Lifetime. I thank the artists who embraced the idea for this exhibition so wholeheartedly. Allowing ideas around tenderness, romance, clumsiness and dagginess to bubble away and percolate within their studio practices, Rachel Button, Nick Mullaly and Nabilah Nordin have developed new video, paintings and sculptures that can be connected with the messy sweetness that we know as love. I can’t help thinking about the awkwardness of relationships when I consider Nabilah Nordin’s sculptural processes of pushing, pressing and embellishing. Often precariously balanced, the intensely worked surfaces give little indication of their underlying structural support. Rachel Button’s video, positioned as a pearl within plastic sandpit/ wading pool clam shells alludes to the persistence of internalised monologues that seem par for the course of being in a relationship. For me, entering the warm glow of Nick Mullaly’s dreamy imagery is like soaking in a visual love song. I am deeply indebted to Dr Lisa Radford for generously accepting the invitation to write about this project with such energy and enthusiasm. Who else would write an essay on Valentine’s Day?
Special thanks to Gallery Coordinator Joon Youn and art installers, Ashley Perry, Zamara Robison and Michael Sandford.
Dr David Sequeira Director, Fiona and Sidney Myer Gallery Faculty of Fine Arts and Music