Nigel Milsom's 'Judo house part 6 (the white bird)' 2014-15 is a homage to the Italian Baroque artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini's altar sculpture 'Ecstasy of Saint Teresa' 1647–1652, a detail of which he encountered in print. Bernini's fervent work depicts the nun being repeatedly stabbed through the heart by an angel during a violent but blissful spiritual visualisation. Milsom was attracted to the formal qualities of the reproduction but also Bernini's representation of formal and thematic dichotomies (pleasure and pain; corporeal and spiritual; light and shadow), perhaps because contrasts have similarly framed Milsom's life and work to date (figuration and abstraction; light and dark; success and tragedy). Curator Rachel Kent agrees, suggestsing that the work reflects an 'acute sense of recognition…between the two opposing figures, or life forces, and the overwhelming emotions depicted .
1. Rachel Kent, 'Nigel Milsom: surface tension' in Art Monthly, June 2015, no 280, p 41
oil on linen
230.2 x 194.0 cm stretcher
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2015, with the generous assistance of Alenka Tindale, Peter Braithwaite, Anon, Chrissie & Richard Banks, Susan Hipgrave & Edward Waring, Abbey & Andrew McKinnon
Not on display
© Nigel Milsom
Shown in 2 exhibitions
Referenced in 3 publications
Rachel Kent, Art Monthly Australia, 'Nigel Milsom: surface tension', pg. 40-43, Canberra, Jun 2015, front cover (colour illus.), 2, 41, 42 (colour illus.).
Andrew Taylor., smh.com.au, 'Award-winning artist Nigel Milsom holds first exhibition since his release from jail', Sydney, 15 Apr 2015, n.pag. (colour illus.). viewed 16.07.2015, http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/awardwinning-artist-nigel-milsom-holds-first-exhibition-since-his-release-from-jail-20150416-1mls93.html
Ecstasy: Baroque and Beyond, Brisbane, 2017, 16 (colour illus.), 17.