Renowned contemporary Australian artist Nell has selected key works by iconic Aotearoa artist Colin McCahon to be shown alongside her own pieces, drawing out fresh dialogues between the works across geographic and generational distance. With strong themes of light and dark, birth and death, biculturalism, spirituality, and opposites, the works compliment each other and give strength to the motifs of each piece.

“I could talk for ages about how McCahon’s work resonates — his use of light and dark, his visual and spiritual tussles, the New Zealand landscape as allegory for big questions, his use of Māori motifs and subjects at a time of burgeoning biculturalism and his use of text in multidimensional ways…” Join us on the opening of this extraordinary show to hear Nell do just this, speaking to her own multidisciplinary works, as well as the McCahon pieces she has selected to be shown alongside hers in Nell x Colin McCahon: Through the Wall of Birth and Death.

Nell’s works balance darkness with fun, with numerous grinning ghosts filling the gallery with a sense of playfulness and surprise. A show jam-packed full of character, don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Nell herself as she walks you through the exhibition, speaking to the works on display.

Sydney/Gadigal-based Nell was born in 1975 in Maitland/Wonnarua, NSW, Australia. She studied at Sydney College of the Arts, Sydney, The University of California, Los Angeles and École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Across two decades, Nell’s work has been included in over 300 exhibitions in Australia and abroad. Early in her exhibiting career, she was selected for Primavera: Young Australian Artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (1999). Other significant exhibitions include: Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art: Magic Object, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2016); The National: New Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2017); WORDS + CROSSES, Ramp Gallery, Waikato Institute of Technology, Hamilton, NZ; Know My Name: Australian Women Artists 1900 to Now, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra (2021) and RE-PAIR, Tennessee Triennial, Engine for Art, Democracy & Justice, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, US (2023). In 2016, Shepparton Art Museum presented an eponymously titled survey exhibition of Nell’s works, NE/LL. A monograph on her work, published by Thames and Hudson, was released in 2020. Nell is represented by STATION, Australia.


  • Free


  • Sat 17 Feb


  • 11:00 am


  • 45 Laings Road
  • Lower Hutt, New Zealand