Cult stars set to make waves at Gold Coast City Gallery: Robert Forster and Nell, 2017

Robert Forster and Nell are very different and highly respected artists.

As part of its Primavera exhibition this month, Gold Coast City Gallery is hosting both artists in an intimate conversation that explores their creative minds with no topic off limit.

Meet the Wagemakers – Robert Forster Vs Nell, will be an irreverent evening with a rock poet and a rock artist on Thursday 27 July. It takes place as part of the Gallery Nights program at Gold Coast City Gallery,  where visitors can enjoy exhibitions after hours. The event is in association with the current exhibition Primavera at 25: MCA Collection.

Robert Forster is a renegade poet, an award-winning writer and critic, songwriter and musician, best known as the co-founder of 80s cult rock band, The Go-Betweens. 2017 is a significant year for Forster, as it marks 30 years since the release of the Go-Between’s seminal album, 16 Lovers Lane, which features the band’s most recognisable hit, Streets of Your Town.

The artist known simply as Nell has a signature style that is instantly recognisable through a fusion of religious iconography with a rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. The Sydney-based artist is acclaimed nationally with her work represented in the collections of most major Australian galleries including The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney;  Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney and Art Gallery of South Australia.

Nell first came to attention when she was chosen to be part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Primavera at the age of 24 and picked up by one of Australia’s most high profile galleries, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, by the time she was 26 years old.

Robert Forster is an Australian cult legend and the music of the Go-Betweens is timeless

‘I’m very excited to be speaking with Robert,’ said Nell, who is relishing the opportunity of a ‘clash’ between herself and another highly creative thinker. ‘It’ll be fresh for me and the audience because we’ve never met, so it’ll be like an old town hall style meeting,’ she said.

Gallery Director Tracy Cooper-Lavery said the event is a rare opportunity to meet internationally recognised artists working in contrasting spaces.


“Robert Forster is an Australian cult legend and the music of the Go-Betweens is timeless,” Tracy said.

“It’s also wonderful to have Nell coming to the gallery. She has played a huge role in developing contemporary art within Australia and we’ve wanted to collaborate with her for some time now.”

“It’s great timing given we’ve recently acquired one of her most iconic works for our permanent collection, Let there be robe, an AC/DC-themed Buddhist robe, surrounded by crucifixes made from drum sticks,’ Cooper-Lavery said.

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Meet the Wavemakers is on Thursday 27 July, 6-8pm at the Gold Coast City Gallery. Tickets $15 with drinks and refreshments available for purchase.

Primavera at 25: MCA Collection runs until 3 September at Gold Coast City Gallery and celebrates 25 years of Primavera – Museum of Contemporary Art Australia’s annual exhibition dedicated to showcasing the work of young Australians.

Feature image: Stephen Booth.

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