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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Skater

Portraits by Nikki Toole

Daily from Thursday 16 February 2012 until Sunday 29 April 2012

Nikki Toole has travelled the world to photograph skateboarders. The portraits evoke the solitary mental space experienced while skating. Nineteen portraits will be on show, the first time images from the skater project have been exhibited as a group.

Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole
Daniel Whitechurch and Laura McKellar, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2009 by Nikki Toole

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.

19 portraits

1Travis Giles, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2010. 2Tessa Toumbourou, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia, 2010. Both by Nikki Toole.

Related people

Nikki Toole

Michael Desmond

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.