Nick Cave is No Stranger to Kindness

Australian artist Nick Cave shares his life in a remarkable exhibition in Denmark.

Nick Cave © Gosha Rubchinskiy


He is one of Australia’s most celebrated artists, and now you can delve into the mind of Nick Cave via an interesting art exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark. The show, Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition, brings together 300 objects from the artist’s own collection, the Nick Cave archive at the Arts Centre Melbourne, the collections of the Royal Danish Library, where the show is being held, and pieces from private collections. The exhibition is at once biographical and autobiographical with Cave collaborating closely with Janine Barrand, of the Arts Centre Melbourne, and Christina Back, from the Royal Danish Library, in curating the show.


The show walks visitors through 60 years of Cave’s professional and private life, which is unveiled through the use of installations. Janine Barrand, who curated a show in 2007, which formed the inspiration for the current show, explains, “The exhibition explores Nick Cave’s creative life from his childhood in Wangaratta in Victoria, Australia to the present day. Visitors will go on a voyage of discovery through a series of rooms, my favourite being the Boys Next Door and The Birthday Party space, which places objects relating to Nick and his fellow musicians within a tent inspired by Nick the Stripper, which was filmed late at night at a rubbish dump in Melbourne. Visitors will be surprised by the depth and diversity of Nick’s work across art forms as well as his notebooks. They are gloriously curious and full of wonder.”


Co-curating the show, Nick Cave was personally invested in the show and played an essential role in its presentation, with the artist composing a score with Warren Ellis especially for the exhibition, soundtracking the visitors’ journey through his life. Though not a retrospective, the exhibition is an open book into Cave's life, and also goes beyond being a fan-driven show with Janine revealing, “The exhibition can be seen through several dimensions, I think. Firstly, it explores the creative process through the eyes of an artist, which speaks to so many people in the community, there is so much there for fans of Nick Cave too including lyrics, notebooks, interviews and artefacts, and the exhibition is an artistic experience itself through its design, soundscape and journey.”

Stranger Than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition is showing until the 13th of February, 2021.

Nick Cave with Janine Barrand © Ari Hunter

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