Born 1970, Melbourne, Victoria
Lives Melbourne, Victoria
Known primarily as a paper artist, Geoff Nees’ expanded practice in steel poses an interesting question of materiality. His collaborations with architects and engineers make us question in what ways seemingly opposite materials can be similar.
Graduating from RMIT in 1995 with a Bachelor in Visual Arts, Nees majored in sculpture, and his resulting practice follows an unexpected line of sculptural enquiry. In creating patterns through cutting and folding paper, Nees changes what would traditionally be considered a flat form, into work that considers and sculpts negative and positive space. Seeing the potential of his work, Nees was commissioned to design the facade for the Australian Pavilion for the 2005 World Expo held in Japan. This commission gave Nees the taste for working in large-scale architecture, which has formed an ongoing part of his practice.
The greatest challenge in translating Nees’ works from paper to steel has been keeping the element of the hand-made or crafted. Though Nees’ designs are based on an extrapolated isometric grid, giving them the appearance of order through repetition, there is a very deliberate, but subtle emphasis on imperfection. Nees’ choice to execute the designs by hand, means that there is the occasional crooked line or wonky fold. These variations are important to Nees in creating.