I work in a number of media including book, animation, print, drawing and painting. Within my artwork I am interested in ideas relating to representations in contemporary culture. I am attracted to the aesthetics of nostalgia and kitsch and am concerned with the way these work on the viewers interpretation of an artwork. I juxtapose binary oppositions (innocence/experience, good/evil, love/hate) to encourage a reassessment of basic perceptions. My work is heavily influenced by film, literature and the broader mediaphere: cultural phenomenon shared by a large audience that readily functions in terms of both symbol and sign.
(Lorraine Heller-Nicholas on visualarts.net.au)
On Air: Lorraine Heller-Nicholas
The ikono On Air Festival is showing Lorraine Heller-Nicholas’s film Loves me, loves me not. The film investigates the role of struggle within romantic narratives. Loves Me, Loves Me Not considers issues of power, control and the love object.
Love is a narrative. Death is a narrative. What happens when these stories intersect, and romance collapses? Whatever its name – unrequited love, amour fou – when the ‘true love’ narrative goes askew, tensions snap. In this moment, details become explosively irrelevant, and elements of the romance narrative dissolve under the weight of the visceral intensity of broken hearts.
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Other Videos by Lorraine Heller-Nicholas
The work consists of 12 different versions of a love story. Each version is made up of the same shots, the order is simply rearranged and the sound track changes. Each piece may stand on its own as a narrative but together they discuss the nature of how romance is most often represented.
Of all popular narrative forms, the romance is perhaps the one we experience most poignantly and personally. Regardless of whether we have or have not felt intense feelings of romantic love, we live in a culture where we are encouraged to yearn for it, through everything from chocolate commercials to music videos. Yet despite the emphasis upon the individual’s experience of romance, the tropes themselves are familiar to a point that verges on the hackneyed, resulting in a constant retelling of the clichéd binaries that fling figures together – and, just as often, that tear them apart. Lorraine Heller-Nicholas’ work engages explicitly with the faceless anominity of popular romantic narrative forms and figures, reminding us that while love stories appear to cover a rainbow of emotions – anger, joy, pain, passion and many more – the reality of how these stories are told more often than not relies on a monochromatic understanding of fictional representations of contemporary romance.
A Perfect Empty Street
screened at: Melbourne and Other Myths, City Museum at Old Treasury, 2008
story/dialogue: Martyn Pedler
visuals: Lorraine Heller-Nicholas
sound: Michael Prior
Advice to those in love (2005)
Sound by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang
Photocopy Queen (2003)