nick glade-wright — vital voice

The large stylised paintings tell a potent story about the havoc we have wrought on earth. The ‘vital signs’ of climate change – fire, drought and floods – fill the works. There are also tragic tales of refugees.

But, Vital Signs also marks a major milestone. The exhibition coincides with Nick’s 70th birthday and is the stunning culmination of his decades as a prolific artist.

“This is a very special exhibition where I have painted about things that really move me,” Nick points out. “Each painting takes on a different story, just like the different chapters of a book.”

The devastating summer bushfires that swept across Tasmania two summers ago was the trigger for Vital Signs. In Nick’s beautiful studio nestled in bush south of Hobart, the threat of fire is never far away.

One canvas shows a blaze engulfing everything in its path leaving only eerie silhouettes of gums, and a powerful message. This is heightened by Nick’s dramatic use of colour. Slashes of orange sound a warning, but at the end there is hope.

“A small blue waterhole protected from the firestorm becomes a sanctuary” Nick explains. “My paintings still have optimism, and the last works I completed for Vital Signs explore reconstruction after these horrific events.”