Collection Online

from the Soundsuit series 1992–

fibreglass, cotton, shell, glass, metal
230.0 × 122.5 × 76.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Accession Number
Contemporary Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased with funds donated by the Fox Family Foundation and the NGV Foundation, 2016
© Nick Cave, courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
Gallery location
Not on display
About this work

Nick Cave began creating his Soundsuit series in an attempt to process his trauma associated with the 1992 Los Angeles riots. These full-body, wearable sculptures act as symbols of endurance and a form of protection by obscuring all signs of the wearer’s race, gender, age, sexual identification and class. Bearing some resemblance to African ceremonial costumes, Cave’s Soundsuits are made from everyday materials sourced largely from flea markets, including dyed human hair, plastic buttons, beads and feathers. They are joyous and spectacular, reminiscent of a marching band in procession. Cave’s Soundsuits rattle and resonate when worn in performance.