Nigel Sense

Biography

Nigel Sense is a Wollongong-born Australian artist currently based in Darwin. Nomadic by nature, Sense’s keen interest in travel and discovery informs his idiosyncratic style

Sense has exhibited his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Australia and in Sri Lanka. In 2009 Sense was exhibited as part of the inaugural Colombo Art Biennale, and invited again in 2012. His award winning first Sydney solo exhibition titled I Work With Tools was held at Sheffer Gallery in September 2012. In the intervening years, Sense’s unique and dynamic style has garnered great attention and success, with the artist being commissioned by Porsche in 2021 to create a custom livery for the Taycan in celebration of the German auto manufacturer’s 70th anniversary in Australia. Sense’s first institutional solo show is to be held in 2022 at the National Centre of Contemporary Art (NCCA) in Darwin.

Nigel Sense draws inspiration from the American abstract expressionists and pop artists of the 1960s, and like the pop artists of the 1960’s, he has turned mass reproduction and the influence of the mass media into subject matter. His works could loosely be described as neo-expressionist and social expressionist.

Employing various pop art techniques and the tactic of painting the things he knows, Sense considers his role as an artist and his work reflects an inclusive suburban upbringing and experience. Sense’s paintings are immediate and striking, engaging the viewer in an intimate way with his everyday world. Communicating through fun and humour, his paint-ings seek understanding and empathy.

Describing his process as primal and instinctive, Sense paints energetically on canvas. His overlaid imagery mimics his state of mind at the end of the working day. Instead of trying to clear his thoughts from the day’s experiences, he paints them: conversations, emails, phone calls, what his colleagues discuss over morning tea; everything goes down on the canvas. His works appear unplanned because he works quickly, however his ideas have been formulated over time and these he lays down on canvas with bold direct marks.

Nigel Sense is a graduate of the University of Wollongong. His work is frequently selected for major awards; most recently: Salon De Refuses (Finalist, 2019), Mosman Art Prize (Finalist, 2018), Black Swan Art Prize (Finalist, 2017), Mosman Art Prize (Finalist, 2017) and the Kilgour Art Prize (Finalist, 2017).

EDUCATION

2005—2006 Bachelor of Creative Arts, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, NSW
2000-2002 Diploma Graphic Design and Printing, Ultimo TAFE, Sydney
1992-1994 Associate Diploma Fine Art, West Wollongong Technical College, Wollongong, NSW

AWARDS

2021 Finalist, Portrait of a Senior Territorian, Parliament House, Darwin NT
2020 Finalist, Salon de Refusés, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney NSW
2019 Finalist, Collie Art Prize, Collie Art Gallery, Collie WA
2019 Finalist, Salon de Refusés, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney NSW
2019 Finalist, The Vincent Prize, Duckrabbit Gallery, Sydney NSW
2019 Finalist, The Kings Art Prize, The Kings School, Sydney NSW
2018 Finalist, Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman NSW
2018 Finalist, Salon des Refuses, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney NSW
2017 Finalist, Black Swan Art Prize, Western Australia Art Gallery, Perth
2017 Finalist, Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Regional Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2017 Finalist, Kilgour Prize, Newcastle Regional Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
2017 Finalist, Fisher Ghost Art Prize, Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney
2015 Finalist, Hurford Hardwood Portrait Prize, Lismore Regional Gallery, Lismore, NSW
2013 Finalist, Fisher Ghost Art Prize, Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney
2011 Finalist, Australian Stencil Art Prize, Outpost Cockatoo Island, Sydney

SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS

2022
Visitor Centre, Northern Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin NT

2021
Departure Lounge, Fox Galleries, Melbourne VIC

2020
Post Tropical Future World, Fox Galleries, Melbourne VIC
Tropical Future World, Wagner Contemporary, Sydney NSW

2019
Caterpillarness, Fox Galleries, Melbourne VIC
Dickheads & Demons, Wagner Contemporary, Sydney NSW

2018
Workers & Wankers, Fox Galleries, Melbourne

SELECTED RECENT EXHIBITIONS

2018
Workers & Wankers, Fox Galleries, Melbourne

2017
Summer  Show, Wagner Contemporary, Sydney, NSW
Black Swan Art Prize, Western Australia Art Gallery, Perth
Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Regional Gallery, Sydney, NSW
Kilgour Prize, Newcastle Regional Gallery, Newcastle, NSW
Fisher Ghost Art Prize, Campbelltown Art Centre, Sydney
Sense & Chavez, Fox Galleries, Melbourne
Untitled, Traffic Jam Gallery, Sydney
Art Is Lettuce (solo), Finders Street Gallery, Sydney

2016
Hi how are you? (solo), Penny Contemporary, Hobart
Nigel Sense, Blokes and Sheilas, Harvison Gallery, Perth, WA

Full CV

Exhibitions & News