Made in the Light – Happy Cloud and Drips, 2011
Happy Cloud – Purchased by Maitland Regional Art Gallery in 2019
Drips – Donated under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Nell in 2019
Nell is a Maitland born girl who has forged an international reputation as a contemporary artist of note. Her career as an artist spans more than 20 years and her practice encompasses many materials and media including painting, sculpture, performance and installation. Her neon installation, Made in the light – Happy Cloud and Drips, illuminates key elements found across Nell’s work: playful symbols and simple, iconic motifs reinforced by a multitude of meanings and personal philosophies. The smiling face and rain drops now brighten the exterior of the Gallery building, providing a piece of contemporary art for children and adults alike at any time of the day, but most inspiringly at night.
Made in the light – Happy Cloud and Drips was acquired by MRAG to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the redevelopment of Maitland Regional Art Gallery and to celebrate one of Maitland’s highest achievers, Nell, who was inducted into the Maitland City Hall of Fame in 2017.
The artwork will remain on permanent display with its universally accessible image of a smiling cloud bringing a sense of intimacy to this iconic building on High Street, Maitland.
As I caught the school bus to Maitland Grossmann High School every day, I would dream of being an artist when I grew up. And in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would have a permanent artwork on the outside of Maitland Regional Art Gallery! At that time, I also couldn’t have imagined the Gallery moving to High Street from its former home on Church Street.
My family all still live in Maitland and I am immensely proud that my neon work “Made in the Light” now lives in Maitland too. I hope it makes people happy. And I hope people passing up and down High Street will come to know the smiling cloud’s face as it welcomes them, day and night, rain and shine.
On the second day the artwork was installed, before it was even lit up, my 12 year old niece told me she saw the happy cloud from her school bus. How cool is that? Dreams on the school bus can come true!
Nell, July 2019