Kim Nelson

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Kim Nelson was born on the New South Wales south coast into a farming family. He is related on his mother’s side to the Australian traditional landscape painter Leonard Long. From a very early age Nelson showed a precocious talent for drawing and creating and this talent was put to use not only in school projects but in designing backdrops for school productions.

At age 17, on his uncle’s suggestion, he spent a year at the renowned Julian Ashton Art School in Sydney, studying life drawing. This was to be his only formal art training. It was also in this year that Nelson completed his first commissioned mural. He subsequently embarked, somewhat by chance, on a career in graphic design and advertising concurrent with a career as a singer/songwriter in contemporary music. He was to spend the greater part of a decade in this field.

This was followed by another ten years as a manager/curator of historic houses primarily for the National Trust (Australia) property, Cooma Cottage. Through a range of eventing, educational programs and exhibitions he developed the property from a fledgling local attraction into one of the Trust’s most successful regional properties.

In 1994 Dr Peter Stanbury (then head of Museums and Collections of National Trust, NSW) stated that “Kim is our model manager and news of his proficiency has spread throughout the Trust and into the public realm”. This reputation garnered Nelson various awards in heritage and tourism.

In 1995 Nelson was acting senior curator of Calthorpes’ House and Lanyon, both heritage properties in Australian Capital Territory (ACT). He also represented the ACT Museums & Galleries in tourism and marketing until his departure to pursue his art full time.

Since embarking on a career in fine art in 1996 Kim Nelson has staged numerous solo exhibitions. He has also completed commissioned work for many organisations and individuals ranging from the National Trust of Australia to publishers Pan MacMillan through to private commissions for media mogul Rupert Murdoch. His exhibitions have been opened by the likes of Chief Magistrate, The Hon. Mr Barry O’Keefe QCAM, the late Renee Rivkin and Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and his work graces the walls of corporations and offices such as the Australia High Commission in London and News Limited in New York.

Kim Nelson is committed to using his talent in assisting others, having gifted art and design to many major and minor organisations and charities such as UNICEF Australia, Hope for the Children (Rotary International), AMACC (Afghan Mother & Child Care), Koomarri Canberra, The Smith Family, NSW Volunteer Bushfire Brigade, CanAssist along with numerous local and amateur groups. He also, from time to time, still curates exhibitions on behalf of others.

Though his work can be quite diverse he identifies most strongly with symbolism and the spiritual, drawing much inspiration from the great works of the past. “I seek not to emulate the styles and techniques of the past, but to reinterpret and develop them in the present and for the future.”


1990    ‘MUSICIANS’ – De Depot Restaurant Gallery, Canberra
1992    ‘THE ART OF KIM NELSON’ – Cooma Cottage, National Trust of Australia, Yass
1993    ‘MAEVE’ – Old Post Office Gallery, Sutton Forest1994
‘NEW ROMANTIC’ – Heritage Gallery, Canberra
1996    ‘KIM NELSON’ – Anthony Rose Gallery, Yass
1997    ‘NELSON/DOUGLAS’ – Cuppacumbalong Art Gallery, Canberra
1997    ‘INTO THE LIGHT’ – Mallet Street Art Space, Sydney
1998    ‘WINTER’ – Griffith Gallery, Canberra
1999    ‘RETROSPECTIVE – Ten Years of Cooma Cottage’
(Photographic exhibition) Heritage Week exhibition for the National Trust of Australia
1999    ‘KIM NELSON’ – Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney
1999    ‘A SACRED PLACE’ – The Sheep’s Back Gallery, Yass
1999    ‘ALICE BALE AWARD’ – Glen Eira Regional Gallery, Melbourne
2000    ‘KIM NELSON: Recent Works – Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney
2000    ‘RETROSPECTIVE: CAVAN – Open Gardens Scheme, Cavan Homestead, Cavan
2001    ‘WORKS ON PAPER’ – Anthony Rose Gallery, Yass
2001    ‘THE LINE, THE CROSS & THE CURVE’ – Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney
2001    ‘URBAN TRAFFIC’ (Group exhibition) – Manyung Gallery, Melbourne
2001    ‘ALICE BALE AWARD’ – Glen Eira Regional Gallery, Melbourne
2002    ‘CANBERRA ART PRIZE’ (finalist) – Italo-Australian Club, Canberra
2002    ‘(LAND)SCAPES’ (Group exhibition) – Salmon Gallery, Sydney
2002    ‘PICTURE SUNDAY’ – Artist’s Open Studio
2003    ‘THE ODDFELLOW EXHIBITION’ – The Oddfellow Hall, (Sheep’s Back Gallery) Yass
2004    ‘CANBERRA ART PRIZE’ (finalist) – Italo-Australian Club, Canberra
2005    ‘POSTCARDS’ – The Oddfellow Hall, Yass
2005    ‘BEYOND THESE SHORES’ – GIG Gallery, Sydney
2005    ‘ICON’ – Salmon Galleries, Sydney
2006    ‘A FOOT IN EACH CAMP’ (Group exhibition) – Domain Gallery, Sydney
2006    THE LINAC COLLECTION (Group exhibition) -Shoalhaven City Regional Gallery, Nowra
2006    A WINTER’S TALE (Group exhibition) – Salmon Gallery, Sydney
2006    STORYTELLER (Group exhibition) – Charles Hewitt Gallery, Sydney
2006    ‘METAPHOR’ – Salmon Gallery, Sydney
2006    ‘BACK TO THE SHEEP’S BACK’ – Sheep’s Back Gallery, Yass
2007    ‘PRESENCE – ABSENCE’ (Group exhibition) – United Galleries Sydney
2007    ‘UNWRAPPED 07’ (Group exhibition) – United Galleries, Perth
2007    ‘AS ABOVE SO BELOW’ – United Galeries, Perth
2008    ‘NUDE’ (Group exhibition) – United Galleries Sydney
2008    ‘WEETALIBAH’ (Group exhibition) – Yass
2008    Finalist – Shirly Hannan National Portrrait Awards
2008    ‘UNWRAPPED’ (Group exhibition) – United Galleries, Perth
2008    ‘THINKING OF FRIEDRICH’ – United Galleries, Sydney
2009    EASTER EXHIBITION (Group exhibition) – Forest Gallery, Durras
2009    YASSarts (Group exhibition) – The Sheep’s Back Gallery, Yass
2009    ’30 x 40′ (Group exhibition) – United Galleries, Sydney
2009     ‘BLACK SWAN PRIZE for PORTRAITURE’ (finalist) – Perth Town Hall, Perth
2009     [not] WASTELAND (Group exhibition) – Tuggeranong Arts Centre, Canberra
2009     Penombre – The Sheep’s Back Gallery, Yass
2010     SHIRLEY HANNAN PORTRAIT PRIZE (finalist) – Bega Regional Gallery
2010     ‘BLACK SWAN PRIZE for PORTRAITURE’ (finalist) – Perth Town Hall, Perth
2010     ‘COUNTRYSCAPES 2010′ Country Energy Art Prize (finalist) – Glasshouse Regional Gallery
2010    ’10 out of 10’ (Group Exhibition) – Anthony Rose Gallery, Yass

  • Kim Nelson, Burnt Sienna

  • Kim Nelson, Burnt Sienna Repose

  • Kim Nelson, Roane

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