Nicholas Folland is an Adelaide-based artist who completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the South Australian School of Art in 1999. He is a Samstag Scholar and studied within the research program at the Piet Zwart Institute Rotterdam, where he pursued an interest in constructed landscapes and developed a fascination for early travel narratives. During this time he also participated in the Public Art Observatory at the University of Barcelona.
On his return to Australia, Folland created numerous sculptures and installations that referred to extreme locations within the landscape, often taking inspiration from tragic journals of failed exploration. These works include a series of internally heated granite boulders entitled Mt Hopeless (2001), and a number of ice-encrusted chandeliers beginning with I think I was asleep… (2003).
In 2009 Folland completed a Masters Degree at The University of Sydney. This research saw the refinement of Folland’s interest in the domestic interior, particularly in terms of the inherent references within our homes to natural environmental processes and landscapes. It was during this period that he constructed some of his first large-scale installations, such as Raft #1 (2005), created for the Australian Experimental Art Foundation, which consisted of a full-scale bathroom that relentlessly overflowed with thundering water from every possible outlet, while Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Op, 40: Air, played mournfully in the background.
In recent years, Folland has worked with found crystal and glassware. In 2009 he completed the monumental installation Floe for the exhibition Colliding Worlds at the Samstag Museum, in which approximately 2000 crystal items such as wine glasses, bowls and vases were individually suspended to form a floating and sublime island landscape. More recently he was commissioned to create a similar work for Parallel Collissions: 2012 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, in response to the colonial collection housed within the Elder Wing of the Art Gallery of South Australia. He has also worked closely with the Jamfactory Glass Studio in Adelaide and Canberra Glassworks to create cast objects from recycled crystal items, as well as a series of new forms which mimic domestic crystal ware.
Folland’s work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, as well as at other university and regional galleries. He is currently working on a major new commission for the 2012 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.