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The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

Homes

Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski describe their Melbourne home best as a ‘warped maximalist colour feast; monster-bird dinner party; new gothic masquerade; baking disaster; totemic gunk pile; and cluster-bomb development laboratory!’ Brilliant!

This very specific look has been achieved in just six months by the artists, who have instantly characterised their period home with paintings, colour, and their own sculptures. 

It’s an ever-evolving space, with something new to discover at every turn!

19th January, 2022

Lamp sculpture by Nabilah Nordin (back right corner). Trumpet sculpture by Nick Modrzewski. Vintage lamp sourced by Sveta LampsA Short History of Land Ownership, painting by Nick Modrzewski. Enclosure, painting by Nick Modrzewski (courtesy Discordia Gallery). Up Chair by Gaetano Pesce. Stiffening Udder Couch sculptural couch by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Elephant coffee table by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. A Black and White Bookshelf by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Singing Head (in fireplace) by Nick Modrzewski. Wall painting by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

A Short History of Land Ownership, painting by Nick Modrzewski. Wall painting by Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lamp sculpture by Nabilah Nordin (back right corner). A Short History of Land Ownership, painting by Nick Modrzewski. Enclosure, painting by Nick Modrzewski (courtesy Discordia Gallery). Up Chair by Gaetano Pesce. Stiffening Udder Couch sculptural couch by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Elephant coffee table by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. A Black and White Bookshelf by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Singing Head (in fireplace) by Nick Modrzewski. Wall painting by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Elephant coffee table by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Demon Vase by Nabilah Nordin. Enclosure, painting by Nick Modrzewski (courtesy Discordia Gallery). Pink wall painting by Nick Modrzewski and Nabilah Nordin Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Green wall painting by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Lamp sculpture by Nabilah Nordin. Vintage lamp sourced by Sveta Lamps. A Black and White Bookshelf by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Green wall painting by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Lamp sculpture by Nabilah Nordin. Vintage lamp by Laura Ashley. A Black and White Bookshelf by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Candelabra by Nabilah Nordin. Small Painting for Socks by Nick Modrzewski. Sheer Nose Mask by Nick Modrzewski. Up Chair by Gaetano Pesce. A Short History of Land Ownership, painting by Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Shrine by Nick Modrzewski (sculptures above fireplace). Head Chair by Nick Modrzewski Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Horrendous Face Cup by Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

37 shelves made by Ben Burgess. Various sculptures by Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski Assorted collected objects (egg beaters, wigs, masks, vases, rocks, sculptural cutlery, sculpture-rubble, inedible dough, a blue bread hat made from actual bread, and broom-mask. Tablecloth by Lisa Corti. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Smeg x Dolce & Gabbana ‘Sicily is my Love’ Longslot 4 Slice Toaster. Alessi Pulcina Espresso Coffee Maker. Le Creuset Cast Iron Shallow Casserole. Alessi Plisse Electric Kettles. Bogdan sculptural head by Krys Modrzewski. Punch and Judy dolls. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Nick Modrzewski’s painting studio. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Spider Crown Light by Nabilah Nordin. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Wig Stand by Nabilah Nordin (fabricated by Cameron Green). Vitra T-Chair by Antonio Citterio. Sapper Management Desk Chair by Richard Sapper for Knoll 1979. Hand painted cabinet. Sediment Shelf (pink) by Nabilah Nordin. Head with Sun Mask by Nick Modrzewski. Lamp by Sveta Lamps.  Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

From left to right: Hospitality, photograph by Kieren Seymour. Untitled #1-8 Dear Patrice, all at once (the only thing that cuts across the artist-run fund-razor species is $$$ ;-) by Lisa Radford and Masato Takasaka. Photograph by Ezzam Rahman.Flower and Ball sculpture by Nabilah Nordin. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Fascinator by Edgeley. Three Tier Stack and Gold Pennies bedside table by Nabilah Nordin. Wall painting by Nabilah Nordin. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Wall painting by Nabilah Nordin. Egg Nog bedside table by Nabilah Nordin. Death Mask by Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Speech painting by Nick Modrzewski. Wearable Chandelier (yellow sculpture) by Nabilah Nordin. Landlord (sculptural head) by Nick Modrzewski. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Sand Slurper sculpture by Nabilah Nordin. French wrought iron garden table and chairs. Photography – Eve Wilson. Editorial styling – Annie Portelli

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 19th January 2022

‘We feel like this house is an ongoing artwork and we’re at the beginning of a long process of sculpting and painting it.’ – Nick Modrzewski

 

Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski searched high and low for a space that could function as both a home and art studio. They looked at industrial warehouses and shopfronts, until a period house in Newport (10 kilometres south-west of the Melbourne CBD) came along that fit all their needs perfectly. 

The couple were immediately inspired to make the space their own. Their vision – a place for art and life to converge; a testing ground to brew ideas and think through possibilities for future exhibitions. 

‘We use every room in this house to think through our ideas and experiment with sculptures, paintings, words, and sounds,’ says Nick, who works as both an artist represented by COMA, and a barrister. 

Their first order of business – painting the reading room walls. ‘We wanted to create a painterly gesture and movement in this room, so one of the walls is loosely painted green, with all the brush marks showing,’ says Nick. ‘We also embedded small ceramic pieces into this wall.’ 

The surrounding walls were also painted in contrasting colours, framing artworks and book displays. ‘We wanted to create the sense of multiple paintings within paintings, so that there is no clear division between the art and the architecture,’ explains Nabilah, whose art is represented by Neon Parc

It’s hard to believe it’s been only six months since Nick and Nabilah moved into this home, with so many art pieces made specifically for the space. Among them are sculptural door knobs, ‘spider egg light fittings’, and ‘shrunken head coat racks.’

‘Things are always moving and changing – walls are painted and repainted and sculptures are built into the doorways,’ says Nick. ‘We feel like this house is an ongoing artwork and we’re at the beginning of a long process of sculpting and painting it.’

Next up, working with David Anthony at Made For and Joseph Moon at Moon Building Group to build a sculpture and painting studio in the garden! 

Nabilah says, ‘We only feel like this is the first chapter to the many changing faces of our new home.’

Nabilah and Nick will both be showing at the upcoming Melbourne Art Fair on 17-20 February 2022. Nabilah will be showing with Neon Parc, and Nick with Discordia

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net