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SKATER EXHIBITION | NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY

Feb 16, 2012

Back in 2009 when I started the Skater project I never imagined I would be approached by Dr Christopher Chapman to exhibit a selection of the work in The National Portrait Gallery of Australia. From selecting the images, working with Mark Mohell on the beautiful prints and the amazing posters designed by Brett Wiencke (which later won a design award), it was an unforgetable experience to have a solo show there.

Skater Portraits by Nikki Toole Thursday 16 February until Sunday 29 April 2012 Nikki Toole has travelled the world to photograph skateboarders. The portraits evoke the solitary mental space experienced while skating. Nineteen portraits will be on show, the first time images from the skater project have been exhibited as a group.

Since July 2009 Nikki Toole has been making photographic portraits of skateboarders around the world. Her subjects are photographed in the spaces they inhabit, captured in still frontal pose against the textured backdrop of the urban environment or in landscapes at the edge of cities. Toole’s portrait project is driven by the desire to understand and commune with her subjects. She is interested in the forces of identity that define the lone skateboarder. ‘Many skaters speak of a solitary mind space while skating; of entering into another state of consciousness’ Toole says. ‘To make these portraits I asked the skaters to place themselves within this meditative space.’ Nikki Toole was born in Scotland in 1965 and now lives in Melbourne. She has studied art and design in London and Edinburgh, and has exhibited in Australia, Britain, USA and Germany. The Skater portraits were photographed using a digital camera and produced for the exhibition at 63 x 48cm using an advanced technology inkjet printer. This exhibition is a partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and Geelong Gallery.