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The Nick Cave story.

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He is one of this country's most iconic entertainers: a musician, songwriter, author, performer and, as visitors to the National Library of Australia will soon discover, a collector.

In a first for the National Library, the life and music of this world-renowned performer will go on show in Nick Cave: The Exhibition, opening on 15 August 2009.

Created by the Arts Centre, Melbourne, the touring exhibition will feature many of the hundreds of items donated by Nick Cave to the Arts Centre's Performing Arts Collection.

They include his notebooks and diaries, lyrics selected by him especially for the exhibition, a compilation of video images and flyers, works of art from his personal collection and posters dating back to the 1970s.

'What can I say?,' said Nick Cave in 2007. 'I have a thing about things. Some people, you know, they don't have a thing about nothing.'

For Arts Centre curator Janine Barrand, her Nick Cave journey began back in 2003 when she visited the artist at his home in Brighton, United Kingdom.

'I must admit to an underlying trepidation at the thought of meeting this tall, black-haired, thundering performer, whose reputation as an enigmatic genius precedes him', she writes in the preface to Nick Cave Stories, published by the Arts Centre in association with the exhibition.

But Barrand need not have worried. 'I am very pleased to say', she later writes, 'that it all did happen, coming to fruition almost three years later when I returned to sort through removal boxes hefted around by Nick Cave dressed in one of his bespoke suits'.

And for the artist? 'This has been a revealing and rewarding experience,' he said of creating the exhibition.

'Much of this stuff has sat around in boxes for years and the process of "excavating" it has been many things--moving, disturbing, inspiring and downright terrifying.'

The National Library is the final destination for the touring exhibition and it is expected that it will attract a wide range of visitors.

'Nick Cave has made an enormous contribution to music, both in Australia and overseas,' said Jan Fullerton, Director-General of the Library.

'And for an institution like the National Library, where we have such an extensive music collection, we are delighted to be able to host such an important exhibition.'

The exhibition is supported by Visions of Australia, an Australian Government program that provides funding assistance for the development and touring of Australian cultural material across Australia.

Nick Cave: The Exhibition National Library of Australia Exhibition Gallery 15 August to 29 November 2009 Open daily, 9 am to 5 pm Free

www.nla.gov.au/exhibitions

Sally Hopman, Media Liaison Manager
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:National Library of Australia's Nick Cave: The Exhibition
Author:Hopman, Sally
Publication:National Library of Australia Gateways
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Aug 1, 2009
Words:445
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