Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Suffering in Comfort

Much of an artist’s work is keyed towards a journey of self-discovery, one of self-revelation if you prefer. Some artists are less, some more overt than others in documenting this journey, it is in the nature of the individual to choose. The artist Adam Collier Noel produces work that beautifully and masterfully conveys his own individual journey.

Some of Adam’s work has been fuelled by a physical passage, moving from Indianapolis to Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Relocation, by its very nature can produce change, and feelings of change. There is transition and transformation, there is movement both physically and mentally, there is excitement and trepidation, all involved in moving from one location to another.

However, a geographical shift, an uprooting from hometown to adopted town is only one layer of meaning to be found in Adam’s work. We are all on a journey, and we are all trying to make sense of that journey.

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Shadow of my Former Shadow

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. My Country - Right or Wrong

In many respects, Adam’s work, the projection of journeying, moving through moments of time, physically, mentally, historically, are elements that affect us all and they are connections that we all feel and share.

Adam is to all intents and purposes is showing us his personal life journey, which is also our journey, switch your perspective from the artist to yourself and you begin to understand what really is entailed in living a life and journeying along that life line.

However, it is not always a journey that goes smoothly, that transposes from difficulties to contentment, often it is a journey of hills and valleys, of transformations and impacts.

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Fractured Column (for Frida)

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Two Hearts (for Frida)

The use of the handstand, a theme that crops up repeatedly in Adam’s work, draws analogies to the focused balance of body and gravity. As the artist notes, it takes courage, determination and balance to create a handstand, and one moment of distraction for it to come crashing down. There couldn’t be a finer analogy to life and the journey of life, trying to get that handstand just right, failing so many times, but keeping at it till you get everything in the right place at the right time, and then you soar.

Adam corrals an amazing selection of techniques and disciplines into his work. There are combinations of collage, photo transfer, digital printing, traditional drawing and painting techniques, the use of resin, often all are incorporated into one piece of work, and all tie each composition into a wealth of expression and understanding.

Adam’s work gives a distinct feeling of the transitory nature of place, of time, of understanding. Many of his compositions contain the fleeting, temporary ephemera that is so much a part of the nature of our lives. It is almost as if the physical ephemera that we surround ourselves with is constantly symbolising that self-same temporary, transitional nature.

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Negative Body Image and The Price We Paid

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. In Exodus 1005

Moments of physical importance lose their significance as time passes. Adam uses some of those physical attributes within his work. Therefore, he incorporates old sales slips, receipts, invoices all moments that have value at one point, the point that they were received, but that rapidly lose any value once that moment has passed. They become pieces of paper imbued with nothing, a physical attachment to a moment that has already gone, receded into history.

Photographs are also an important part of Adam’s work, and photographs have a different feel and understanding to us than other ephemera from the past. Photographs have the ability to imbue us with a range of feelings, from ones that charge us with high emotion, to those that give us vaguer feelings of nostalgia, regret, melancholy.

We have adopted these small slips of photographic paper, folding them into our collective psyche. So no matter how removed we may be from the individual or individuals portrayed, we still make connections with those individuals, and that is the important point to make, connections.

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. For Those Who Go Down to the Sea in Ships

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Strong Suit

By reproducing and repurposing named and nameless photos of the past, Adam is allowing the imagery to resurface from the ocean of time in order to take on a new role, a new purpose. Adam’s use of photographs in his work is much more than appropriating imagery of the past, it is collecting together moments of lives that have passed, lives that will now reflect the present life journey of the artist, these are now part of Adam’s journey of his own pathway towards self-discovery and self-revelation.

Illustration: Adam Collier Noel. Shadow of My Former Shadow

All work is copyrighted to the artist. Please ask permission before sharing imagery. Thank you.


  1. This blog is like a beautiful love letter to the beautiful Adam Collier Noel! Thank you!

  2. Thanks Constance. Some artists and their work really do stand out for me, and
    Adam's work really is quite beautiful. It was a pleasure writing about him, and a pleasure letting others know about him.

  3. To the artist: Adam: 'In Exodus 1005' is extremely powerful and beautiful. I love it! And John your writing has a soothing flow and calmness unlike any other.

    1. Thank you Stiofan, what a really nice thing to say


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