Nettle Grellier graduated with a BA in fine art from the University of Brighton in 2015 and has since exhibited in Spain and the UK, recent exhibitions including Christie’s education and Unit London. This year Nettle has been shortlisted for the ACS studio prize, the Hopper prize and ArtPiquer’s prize and exhibited and received judge’s pick as a finalist in the Delphian Gallery open call. Currently Nettle is taking part in the Turps Banana Correspondence course. Upcoming exhibitions include Rude Assembly 4 at China Heights gallery, Sydney in November and a group exhibition at 155A gallery, London in early 2020.
Nettle makes use of light, colour and textiles in looking for a language in painting that echoes the dualities of human interaction; of tenderness with discomfort, intimacy with ignorance.
Nettle sets the figures in their paintings into a vividly coloured landscape that is dry and empty, reminiscent of time spent living in Southern Spain whilst nodding to a future in the face of environmental crisis. Using visual motifs such as grubby feet or bees, Nettle plays with the focus of the subjects and their connection to the surroundings. Often placing the figures directly into the foreground and leaving large of empty spaces between them and the horizon, aiming for a feeling of disparity between the subjects and the wider landscape.
The subjects of Nettle’s paintings are deeply absorbed in themselves or one another, a level of intimacy that is on the verge of awkwardness and discomfort, with limbs that don’t make completely literal sense but contribute to the overall visual rhythm created by a mass of robust and gentle figures. The use of textiles and pattern distinguishes individual subjects from the overall composition, opening smaller narratives within the painting up to the viewer.