Nabilah Nordin <em>Fortune nights</em> 2022; wood, epoxy modelling compound, foam, powdered pigments, glass, spray paint, Australian walnuts, perspex. Purchased, Victorian Foundation for Living Australian Artists, 2022<br/>
© Nabilah Nordin and Neon Parc, Melbourne

Nabilah Nordin

Nabilah Nordin
(b. 1991, Singapore. Lives and works in Melbourne)

Nabilah Nordin is a Singaporean/Australian sculptor with an interest in material invention. With a studio process frequently drawing on ‘domestic’ activities – cooking, DIY construction, makeshift architecture and interior decoration – her playful installations tend to embrace what the artist lovingly calls ‘wonky’ craftwork. Learning and unlearning conventional techniques in a bid to maintain a state of conscious naivety, Nordin’s works favour and celebrate visceral material properties, elevating sculptural scraps and offcuts into monumental artefacts.

At Melbourne Now, Nordin presents three sculptures united by their use of transparent materials to provide a window into another world. In The elves of Whistletown, 2022, acrylic sheeting on castor wheels houses a tumbling arrangement of foam mannequin heads, while Creamed angel, 2022, sees a birdlike creature seemingly covered in excrement atop an acrylic plinth filled with feathers. Finally, Fortune nights, 2022, recently acquired by the NGV, features a blue epoxy structure framing a central glass sphere, set atop a perspex column filled with Australian walnuts. In each instance, the traditional function of the plinth is subverted by Nordin’s use of inexpensive products and natural detritus in their construction. Fantastical, inventive and tongue-in-cheek, her works invert and question the sculptural tradition of monuments.

Nordin completed a Master of Contemporary Art at Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne, in 2015, and a Bachelor of Fine Art at RMIT University in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions have included Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne (2021), COMA Gallery, Sydney (2020), and Singapore Biennale (2019). Recent group shows have been held at McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery, Melbourne (2022); Murray Art Museum Albury (2021); Changwon Sculpture Biennale, South Korea (2020); Neon Parc Brunswick, Melbourne (2020); and Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne (2019). Nordin is represented by Neon Parc.