nicholas nicola etchings


Below are a few images that I couldn't readily fit into any particular category.

  • flagpole skater  (M).
  • view from mt. sinai  (M. N/A) 
  • indian magicians. brunswick heads. (M) 
  • winter trees.lithuania  (M).
  • herr baker and frau bishop on the way to stalingrad to give herr nicola his two t-shirts. (XL).

             small (S): medium (M) large and extra large (L) & (XL)  not available (N/A).




                                                    40  ‘Flagpole Skater.’ Cannery Row.’

                                              B&W. 6” X 5”. zinc plate. M

This ‘endurance character’ - as described by John Steinbeck - impresses me.



                                         41  View from Mt. Sinai.’  B&W. 6”X7”. zinc plate. M. N/A

This rather ordinary scene achieved with scratching steel wool across the wax on the plate belies a night in which a very strange event occurred. There were nine of us staying  overnight on Mt. Sinai (we had all arrived more-or-less individually) and early on we sighted these seven or eight amazing vertical ‘pillars’ of pulsating green light hovering just above the dark horizon line. We had no idea of what they were – and to this day I still wonder about this phenomenon – yet as we also watched hundreds of shooting stars above us it was concluded that it was possible to imagine the many larger-than-life things that happened in this terrain during Old Testament times. An Australian woman kept playing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons on her walkman (she used two glasses to amplify the sound) and as it was the very first time that I had heard this music which I still associate with this very unusual evening. Below is an inset of an etching called Lights over Mt.Sinai [B&W. 6"X4"  Aquatint] which was not in the exhibition and an enlarged version will be on view later in the website (probably in a Magic Realism section). It at least depicts these strange, unexplained lights.




Lights over Mt. Sinai B&W. 6"X4" aquatint. zinc plate. Mt.Sinai mountain range; Mt.Sinai. The artist on Mt. Sinai. The Greek Orthodox St. Catherine Monastery. Mt. Sinai; seeing that the martyred St. Catherine is associated with the fireworks catherine wheel it is somewhat appropriate to view those mysterious columns of light. Mt.Sinai desert. Photos 1985.




        42 ‘Indian Magicians. Brunswick Heads.’

            B&W. 10”X 4.5”. zinc plate. M.

 These two Indian guys approached me in Byron Bay at a time when I was staying with old friends in Bangalow. They had spotted me with this clunky SLR camera and asked if I would accompany them to Brunswick Heads where they would be performing magic tricks on the main street. Although I only had black &white film in the camera – I agreed. The photos would eventually be sent to their Newcastle address). Along with taking photos of them performing rope tricks, having silver balls mysteriously coming out mouths ecetera, etcetera I had also took a couple of shots – from the backseat – of the back of their heads and the ‘antique dashboard’ of their old ‘sixties something’ black Valiant sedan. This rather obtuse image which probably doesn’t mean anything but to me is the final result of those two joined photos. However, I thought the whole experience had a tinge of ‘magic realism’ to it which I think most people would appreciate.






               43      ‘Winter Trees.’ 

               sepia on cream paper. 6"X4. copperplate.  Lithuania.M.                   

This etching is based on a sketch I did of some winter trees in the Lithuanian forest (see above). Druskininkai is a town in southern Lithuania where the national icon of Lithuania - the mystical painter and composer M.K. Ciurlionis (1875 - 1911) - spent his childhood. I could feel the spiritual sense of nature which Ciurlionis himself would have experienced while walking through these beautiful woods On a more poignant level before going to Lithuania for a short stay I had been in Krakow with Kristina - the Australian-Lithuanian friend that I was visiting – another Lithuanian friend and an Australian couple who were living in Frankfurt (and who we had met in Indonesia). We had celebrated the coming of the new 2000 millennium in this Polish city. It had been a great night enjoying the festivities in the large famous town square. However, during our few days in Krakow we also visited the nearby extermination camp of Auschwitz. Amidst the snow we walked amongst the derelict wooden huts, the guard towers and the concrete remains of the crematorium and death chambers. In the museum section were the piles of shoes and other garments of the many victims in small cubicle rooms behind large glass walls. Thus, when I drew these winter trees I was struck by the way the branches were all spread out in the manner of the many pronged Jewish candle candelabras which I had also seen; and which reminded me of the human reality of maintaining one’s faith at a time of insurmountable tragedy.


Druskininkia Trees




   ‘Herr Baker and Frau Bishop on the way to Stalingrad to give Herr Nicola his two t-shirts.’

Commemorative etching to the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad. 1943-1993.

sepia on white. 8”X 10”. zinc plate.  XL.

A wry reflection amongst friends on the human absurdities that are within our ultimate absurdity: war. ‘Herr Baker’ owns a Valiant thus its ‘valiant use’ in this ‘rescue mission.’ The two t-shirts which read Free Cyprus & Suburban Boy - is in reference to the Wehrmacht not supplying its soldiers with any winter clothing due to their cockiness that the Soviet campaign would be won before the onset of the bitterly cold Russian winter.    



Small toy sculpture of Wehrmacht soldiers on the march to Moscow. By 'Herr Timothy Baker' & young son Oscar and given to the artist on the celebration of his 50th birthday in early February, 2009.



                             Herr Baker with son Oscar in front of the artist's 'dachau' before any vegetation was planted. 



                          A much younger Baker in his first Valiant; Baker with fez and valiant.










Although these photos refer to etchings such as Winter Trees and Stalingrad I have them as a seperate section so as to not trivialize such serious subject matter. 

Firstly, German WWII helmets in the studio of a Nida artist, a coastal town in Lithuania on the Baltic Sea; such was the ferocity of the fighting as the Russians relentlessly advanced westwards that apparently it was not so hard to find such Second World War relics in the forest. I realized while in Lithuania that for people in Soviet occupied Eastern Europe - that on a pyschological level - WWII only really ended with the fall of the Soviet Union.

The other photos are of Auschwitz with the railway leading into the death camp; the guard towers and electrified barbed wire fences and the last photo is of the ruins of a crematorium which was blown up by the SS in a futllie attempt to do away with some of the evidence of their genocidal crime against humanity.






Having recently returned from Auschwitz I sighted these child buskers on a street in the beautiful city of nearby Krakow. The sullen look on the faces of these two boys reminded me of those sad, mystified faces of children we have seen in those WWII photos of Jews being arrested and herded from the ghettoes to be taken on cattle train cars - transports to extermination; that particularly well known photo of the young Jewish boy wearing a cap and with his arms raised up,  especially comes to mind. 

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