well, what a year it was!

2017 presented a few challenges for me and slowed me up a little bit.  i had some minor set backs in planned artworks etc due to health issues throughout the year.  That's all sorted and moving forward now with renewed energy.


i will be holding an exhibition in May 2018 featuring my series of glittered nudes.


i have also recently been playing with bell jars and installing works inside them.  These works use the negative space to complete the visual effect.


Nathan J Lester

7 January 2018

another new painting

an unexpected week off from the normal job provided me with time to relax and paint another canvas.  As with my other paintings this is based on a photograph of a model who is nude.  I enjoy working on larger canvases but am running out of storage space for them.  This work is 61 x 122 cm.


Nathan J Lester

29 April 2017

new painting

my latest painting has seen me work with the same style but this time i experimented with gold leaf.  The gold leaf was used to add texture to the torso of the image and to echo the bronze sculptures of the renaissance period.

the challenge

As an artist I have been cruising along for many years in my comfort zone.  In the last 18 months I have expanded my art into different areas of practice, most often painting.  


In order to challenge myself even further I have decided to enter the 2017 Archibald Prize.  For those who are not aware, the Archibald Prize is Australia's most prominent portrait prize for paintings.  The conditions are very specific and include the fact the subject of the painting must be alive and also must have sat for a session as part of the overall painting development.  The painting must also only be completed between specific dates.  Those who have been following my work will note my images are abstracted and show little to no face detail.  The Archibald will test my skills in this area to the limit.


I am happy to announce that I have selected a subject for my entry and it is non other than Canberra Burlesque artist Ursula Wolfe.  Over the next couple of months we will be working together to capture a series of reference images and I will be working on the canvas.  I wanted to take you all on this journey so I will be capturing video and photos and posting them here so you can all see the piece develop into the final submission.  Stay tuned for more on this one.


Nathan J Lester

25 Feb 2017

all that sparkles

Over the next month or so from mid February to April 2017 i will be undertaking my largest photo series ever.  I have a bunch of people who are going to pose nude or partial nude, whilst this sounds like my back catalog of work the difference here is the parts of the body to be photographed will be covered in glitter.  The glitter will bring a whole new dimension to my nudes.  


I have been overwhelmed with people offering to be part of this series and have received a heap of assistance in this regard from Nicky.  She has been amazing at getting people to come forward and offer to pose.  


The shoots will see me busy and shooting up to 6 people almost every weekend.  Stay tuned to see some of the bts and then the images from the shoot.  I am also looking for a gallery to exhibit the series in.


Nathan J Lester

11 Feb 2017

old school process

For some time now I have been playing with old school photography printing processes. These use different emulsions to create photographic images.


My favourite of these processes at the moment is the Anthotype.  It uses the light sensitive properties of plants to create the emulsion on which the image is printed.  Each of these images takes over a week to create.  But the resulting image is one of subtle tones and beauty.


I have been printing various images from flowers to erotic nudes using this method.


The final works are hard to photograph well due to the tones but below are some examples of these works.

no more space

Yes the image is a vulva.  

Now that's out of the way.  


This is a piece I created around 10 years ago for entry into a contemporary art prize.  It is a large piece measuring over 70 cm wide by 92 cm tall.  It is a three dimensional piece hence its name "Box".  The image itself was initially intended to be only a portrait, however it developed into the current format.  The purpose was to expose the viewer to a larger than life image that may be confronting to some. To challenge the norm of hiding sexuality and making anything related to reproductive organs 'dirty' or 'wrong' if talked about or shown in public.  I wanted viewers to be presented with a piece of a size that made it hard to ignore, one that you could see from anywhere or any angle in the space it is exhibited.  I wasn't worried if the piece disgusted some viewers as it is these people who are most likely the ones that the piece is really about.


In addition to the reasons noted above it was also a slight play on the colloquial term 'box' that is sometimes used to describe a female's reproductive parts.


This post has a down side, sadly, as an artist I am running out of storage space to store my works and will need to find a new home for this piece or decommission it.  This realisation came today as I was reorganising my studio space to accommodate my works better.  So as most of you out there probably don't have the space have this piece in your homes I thought I would share some images so hopefully you can at least admire it online.


Nathan J Lester

7 Jan 2017

new site, new art

To most people i am known as a photographer, but for many years i have regarded myself as a visual artist.  The work that everyone has usually seen has been my photography and it has been traditional in the true form.  Photos taken on film, processed and printed in a darkroom.  While i have produced a lot of photographic artwork over the years, the photographic work that not many have seen has been that which is printed using different techniques and old school processes.  In addition, over the last few years, i have been creating some non photographic pieces.  This includes sculpture, stencils,  and painting.  


Now, from late 2016 I will be doing my best to display my works for the world to see.  This may be through this website or other public display methods.  No matter how i display them there will be updates so all can see or go and visit the piece.  I encourage anyone who may see a piece of mine to take a pic and tag away on social media.  I want to share my work with the world and you can all be part of this!


Nathan J Lester

22 Nov 16

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