Since July 2009 Nikki Toole has been making photographic portraits of skateboarders around the world. Her subjects are photographed in the spaces they inhabit, captured in still frontal pose against the textured backdrop of the urban environment or in landscapes at the edge of cities.
Toole’s portrait project is driven by the desire to understand and commune with her subjects. She is interested in the forces of identity that define the lone skateboarder. ‘Many skaters speak of a solitary mind space while skating; of entering into another state of consciousness’ Toole says. ‘To make these portraits I asked the skaters to place themselves within this meditative space.’
Nikki Toole was born in Scotland in 1965 and now lives in Melbourne. She has studied art and design in London and Edinburgh, and has exhibited in Australia, Britain, USA and Germany.
The Skater portraits were photographed using a digital camera and produced for the exhibition at 63 x 48cm using an advanced technology inkjet printer.
This exhibition is a partnership between the National Portrait Gallery and Geelong Gallery.
Skater: Portraits by Nikki Toole is on display at the National Portrait Gallery from
16 February - 2 May 2012
and at Geelong Gallery from
30 June - 9 September 2012.