2024 Grad Show

Nicole Miller

AUArts Grad Show IMG_2986



Documentation is the first step towards creating work within my practice. Specifically, documentation is the foundation I’ve used to build my photographic archive, which in turn has created the basis for my painting work. I use photography as an investigative tool to delve into my personal community during social gatherings. This allows me to create an archive of authentic snap shots and references that memorialize events. Then that archive is translated into paintings which reflect both my interpretation of the night, and allow the audience to witness an authentic replication of the night's essence rather than its factual aesthetics. My practice reflects what I saw, and more crucially, what I remember, from these domestic events.

Recently my practice has taken a specific look at combining my studio life with my social life through my paintings. I'm actively exploring how they overlap, and the correlations I make between the two, by altering the rendering and reality of the paintings.

Moments from my Phone

This is a series of three smaller acrylic and gouache paintings I did this year. Each one works to recreate a similar, reoccurring, rotating set of characters and objects in a variety of domestic settings. These moments are mid action, cut off, and rendered with varying levels of clarity depending on what I recall most from the second each original referenced image was taken.

Cowboy Calendars

This is a collection of every cowboy calendar I've painted into my work so far. Several objects within my communal studio get discussed surprisingly often, and become a staple in daily conversations and thoughts. My studio neighbor was gifted a cowboy calendar earlier in the year and it has become a decorative staple within our circle of friends, as well as a celebratory focal point as we look forward to reveling the next cowboy with every future month. Due to its ridiculous and unfortunately prominent presence in my life, it's made its way into many of my paintings.

My Friends are at my Home we Never Left the Studio

This work is made from three eight feet by ten feet painted panels. Each panel has an acrylic underpainting with layers of gouache on top. My practice focuses on documenting personal social events, then using those as a basis to create an interpretation based from memory overtaking that literal photographic archive. Within this piece in particular I wanted to focus on combining my social circle with my studio group. My community is deeply entrenched in the communal studio. We work together, create together, then became friends with each other. I wanted to merge both of those unique environments together in this piece, therefore combing elements from domestic house parties and personal objects from our collective studio.

Self Portrait

This painting is based off a photo I took of myself on August 4th at 1:18am. I chose to document myself because I think there's an honesty to recording and looking at personal moments. Usually, I spend so much time behind the camera documenting every frame of my life, I rarely step in front of it. This work is to experience and interpret the feelings I was having in that bathroom, during that moment of solitary in the early hours of the morning. It’s meant to be gritty, fun, and representational of me. Despite my constant documentation of my life I often record through the lens of a viewer, here I’m the participant and the witness, and this piece tries to express that rather startling but spontaneous feeling.

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