Round timber jewellery box made by Nickel in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, about 1996.
Nickel was born in 1965 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was a teacher and artist when he was forced to flee in 2000 and seek refuge in Cameroon with his family. They arrived in Australia as refugees in 2009 and settled in Shepparton in northern Victoria. Nickel continues as a practising artist, while also working separate jobs and producing items for sale to support his family. He has exhibited his sculpture and paintings in a number of exhibitions. His artwork reflects both his traditional culture and the artistic influences of his grandfather, as well as more contemporary and abstract forms.
Round timber box with a lid made with mvala wood. The carving on the lid is perhaps representative of leaves and the handle, a stalk. The body of the box has geometric designs with triangles and squares carved into it in a wide band. The outer surface of the box has a brown stain while the inner surface has been left as raw timber. The underside of the lid has a rectangular piece carved into the lip so that it fits with the lip of the bowl which has a small rectangular piece cut out out it.
This collection represents a body of work by Shepparton-based, Congolese artist Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa who arrived in Australia via the Refugee and Humanitarian Program in 2009. The selection includes items made by Nickel in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo where he grew up, was educated and taught art; Douala, Cameroon where he created and maintained an artist's workshop and also in Shepparton where he is re-establishing himself as an artist. Nickel's inspiration originated from his grandfather who was also an artist. Two masks created by his grandfather are also included in this selection to demonstrate the continuation of traditional mask making and also the transfer of artistic inspiration and skill between generations. The objects and accompanying narrative provide an insight into the experiences of an urban based refugee in Africa as well as the experiences of a recently arrived refugee, regional settlement in Victoria, the challenges of adapting to a new society and artistic practice translated into a new environment.
Purchase from Mr Nickel Mundabi Ngadwa, Gertrude N. Lenda, 10 Apr 2013
Bottom of box: .N./ MUNDABI/ NICKEL
Type of item
210 mm (Height), 170 mm (Outside Diameter)