Paintings by Nicole Page-Smith
Nicole Page-Smith's preview review of her exhibition of images "After Durer" was held in Page-Smith's Dunedin warehouse precinct studio. The fashionable address has been well tenanted over Nicole Page-Smith's fifteen year residency in Dunedin, New Zealand. The former Melbourne artist moved to Dunedin in late 2000 from Melbourne, Australia, where Page-Smith held her former studio, also located in the central CBD of Melbourne. Nicole Page-Smith held three studios in the centre of Melbourne in disused office spaces, most businesses needing lower storey offices, on floors closer to ground level. The peace and quiet was well observed and although, Page-Smith had commented about feeling like her studio was up there with her feathered variety of friends, Nicole Page-Smith, remembered reading something in the paper about the perfect height of a building was as tall as trees grow. High-rise buildings are apparently unnatural to the senses but this was predominately the view out Page-Smith's Melbourne studio windows so, Nicole Page-Smith, felt up there with the pigeons and a bird's eye view. The current, Dunedin, warehouse studio, in New Zealand, is a ground floor business, in a nice, treelined, street, Page-Smith's long, dreamed of, "ideal studio".
Nicole Page-Smith often feels viewing art is like an interview with the artist whereby you have to ask questions as with reading novels where it takes the first chapter or sometimes half the novel before you can understand the voice of the writer. In early literature reinterpreted into a comprehensible readable language as you have to imagine Greek philosophers of early and pre-Christian times wrote in Ancient Greek; mostly English versions of ancient language would have been translated from Latin. In more recent, social media history, musicians are quite often asked what they would have to say if they met the composers from whose compositions they are singing or playing the compositions of, for example, Handel, Brahms and so forth. Nicole Page-Smith has not wondered what it would be like to meet Durer, if you could step back in time but, stepping into an ancient history museum is similar to reading ancient literature. Durer appears to be working for the church and his patrons of the arts, annotating the bible like say, William Blake, may have done with Blake's illustrations. Five hundred years hence, Durer could not understand your German if you were a fluent speaker of German let alone your current English. If, for example, we tailor our minds back to Shakespeare, written in the native tongue, Shakespeare is predominantly unreadable.
Nicole Page-Smith feels mostly we are influenced by the strongest influence of the day. For example, David Smith, the former American sculptor, talks about the artists who preceded his work, in televised interviews. David Smith would have been perhaps influenced by current literature of the day like books on Cubism. Cubism would make sense as reference to David Smith as his sculpture is in the modern style but you would never think of David Smith looking at early Modernism or even coming out of Modernism. If you think of who surrounded Durer in early, Northern Renaissance art, Durer's style would predominate and refer to all we currently have available in literature and books, on Northern Renaissance, painting. Nicole Page-Smith, in thinking about the early development of Modernism which all Western art refers, from current text, does think about Picasso and perhaps, Braque and Cubism, could be a reference to acquiring a modern style. Early, European Modernism was particularly influenced by the primal arts from Africa down through to the Asia Pacific region. Those living in the South Pacific and Southern Hemisphere are predominately influenced by the primal, primitive, arts, too. If you look at the history of the Australian, style of art, you can see the influence of Aboriginal art, on artists like Tony Tuckson, Ian Fairweather, John Olsen and Arthur Boyd through to Albert Tucker and Joy Hester; Aboriginal art had a huge influence on their style. Where, in New Zealand, the Moari and Pacific Island arts, appears to have influenced everybody from Colin McCahon and Tony Fomison through, to the current modern style of contemporary art. The people of the South Pacific are luckier than their European counterparts because there are better examples of primal arts available and more on display. The Pacific arts are still a very strong component of museum history.
Nicole Page-Smith has a religious view.