In Conversation with Nick Cave

Nick Cave at The Arts Center \

John and Nick Cave

We went along to a great exhibition in Melbourne about Nick Cave which had been running for 5 months at The Arts Centre.

On the last day of the exhibition, to mark its close, Nick and Mick Harvey held 3 sessions for questions and answers from a small audience.

It was an incredible night to end what was a remarkable insight into the psyche and times of this unique artist. I have come to greatly appreciate and, I must say, admire Nick Cave and his very talented long-standing musical partner Mick Harvey for true originality and artistic integrity.

Both Nick and Mick responded to an array of questions with honesty and characteristic dark humour. This was more interesting to me than the answers themselves and I kind of got an insight into what it must be like to be a highly successful artist who is still able to maintain the necessary balance of distance and accessibility towards his audience.

Creating is such an intensely private process – more so sometimes with visual artists, so it was encouraging to hear about the processes of creativity for such an artist as Nick, as well as to see it first-hand in the typical paraphenalia an artist obsessively keeps and maintains to harness the flow of ideas and sometimes startling emotions and visions that harass one so much of the time. His journals and diaries and little sketches were wonderful to examine with the knowledge of the music which they in turn formed, and the exhibition and the conversation really further cemented my belief that it is creativity in humans and in Nature which is the Divine spirit shining through. His creative vision inspires just as it draws on this well of the collective unconscious.

“The Face of Glory” by Willian Anderson is a fascinating book which beautifully describes this notion, which I am currently reading. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in the creative psyche, and the idea of the Great Memory in the collective human psyche and in Nature.

So here is a photo of John with Nick – he got to play a pear shaker thrown to him by Mick Harvey ( we were in the 2nd row) on a song from “Dig Lazarus Dig” which they played at the end. They played a number of songs acoustically which was quite special, too.

See some footage of the exhibition here on YouTube…

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3 thoughts on “In Conversation with Nick Cave

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