5 Rings, One Doll

Go Yubiwa Ichi No Ningyō

The Kokeshi Project
Nikkei National Museum
Burnaby, BC

Fir wood base, acrylic paint, oil based wood stain,
twine, incorporated objects
8” tall x variable dimensions.
Neal E. Nolan

5 Rings, One Doll both incorporates and conceptualizes the teachings of the legendary samurai, Miyamoto Musashi (The Book of Five Rings.) The piece additionally acknowledges the philosophies of the Shinobi- whom, both coincidently and transcendently (see research disambiguation), shared in these principals and philosophies; incorporating them in martial and everyday practical use. 

According to research, despite popular belief and the depiction of folklore, the ninja weren’t a separate martial force from the Samurai but a subgroup generally made up of foot soldiers (Ashigaru) and samurai retainers- hired by feudal lords and others as spies and mercenaries.

By the way of disambiguation of these two warrior classes, and in illustrating the dichotomy of these two precepts- 5 Rings, One Doll intends to illustrate the falsehood within the hierarchy of class and express human equality both historically and contemporary.


2012- September 6th– October 5th
Gallery fukai, Vancouver, BC

Last year a close friend and colleague of mine accidentally sent me an email intended for his partner.

The email was, admittedly, a humorous tirade when viewed from a sardonic perspective -loaded with frustrations cliche to many gender related archetypes. It helped to release my own frustrations to the same stereotypical aspects  I had experienced in previous relationships and relieved some of those frustrations for me vicariously through this email I had received. 

I kept the email, inspired by it's humor and ability to relieve my own frustrations I thought I might find the opportunity to use it for something and share this vicarious experience creatively.

Back and Front
The opportunity arose upon hearing from another friend and director/ curator of Gallery Fukai in Vancouver, BC.
Their opening season exhibition booked for Sept 2012 had suffer a last minuet cancellation which prompted the curator to put together a hurried group exhibition. He put a call out to his peers for submissions suiting the titled theme of the show "Excuse Me, How Rude!"- an obvious catharsis as a result of the untimely cancellation of the initially intended exhibit.

As the initial email was accidental, I wanted to get additional perspectives, both male and female, on a wider variety of  relationship entailed situations, and so I put out my own call and received a variety of submissions - after much review, retaining each submissions original grammar, punctuation and syntax- the four shown here (in greeting card format) make up the limited edition series of 10 sets. 

The Tide is High
4.5 x 7" (Folded) 
9 x 7" (Full inlay)
10/10 (sets of four) - Glossy exterior/ mat inlay
Digital print on heavy stock

Installation view w/:
-Christian Nicolay
Blind Faith (Video)

-The Dark
Fuck Me, Fuck You, Oh Fuck!


 (work in progress)

The Keep Calm series invests alterations to 10 additional prints of the Carry On series originally printed as a limited edition of 10 for the Design24 exhibit at Gallery FUKAI.

Also printed on 10ml archival paper, the Keep Calm series broadens the original conceptual theme of Carry On, based around western motivational posters and mantras, extending the motivational cliché from its expansive social statement exploring the platform of personage and the individual ego in context with the prescribed cliché.  
Within the consideration of the presented self identity, the alteration of these prints embraces a conceptual context with the individual in his, her’s or their most honest states of being;  in turn the original numbered series finds an individuality of its own in the making unique of the print/re-printed process of duplication. 

Anonymous Hallway(s)                       
Altered plastisol screen print on archival and
newsprint paper, mixed media.
14" x 20"
Rufus Rukus Gallery
Brooklyn, NY

(Hyakumonogatari Kaidankai )
Altered plastisol screen print on archival and
newsprint paper, mixed media.
18" x 24"
San02 Curatorial Project
Matsuyama, Ehime, Japan

"IDF – the best time of my life!"
-Eden Abergil
Altered plastisol screen print on archival and
newsprint paper, mixed media.
18" x 24"
(In Studio)


N.Nolan and Alison Lilly.
Ayden Gallery.
Oct 2011.

Mixed Media assemblage
-Mixed meida, acrylic, graphite, paper, plaster casting, hollow ceramic casting, gun powder, flame, rope, Ox bridal bit, light and shadow
24" x 15"

Sculptural mixed media assemblage.
-King Jams Bible, Jute twine, match wood, candle, rusted nails crucifix, acrylic paint
10" x 10" x 13"

Thief (Borrowed Time),
Mixed Media assemblage
-Felt, Cougar card stock, divider, playing card, light and shadow
3" x 4" x "6

w/ Mike Haller.
Solid ceramic cast, acrylic paint, graphite, light and shadow
8" x 6" x 3.5 lbs.

10 x 10

10 Artists, 10 pannels each- one month of production.

Gallery Atsui is proud to announce our 3rd Annual 10x10 exhibit featuring new works by:

Neal Everett Nolan
Jeff Mair - Erin Boniferro
Helen Eady - Wayne Webb
Karin Vengshoel - IndigoSonja Hebert - Ehren Salazar
Brandy Masch

Having been given only a little over a month to produce ten pieces for this exhibit, I chose to work a theme around religion finding the subject mater very approachable and varied.

Ride the Lightning                       List
8" x 10"                                        8" x 10"
2010                                             2010

Prison Hootch
8" x 10"

Found God.
8" x 10"

Foot Prints
8" x 10"


Neal E. Nolan w/ guest artist Eben Bender.
June 25th - Aug 30th
Opening reception: July 8th.
(See bottom of post for artist statement + additional images)


Neal E. Nolan –Eben Bender – Brian Kent Gotro

Funded by a Canada Tourism grant artists Nolan, Bender and Gotro rode freight (Intermodal Container) into BC's interior collecting the stories, imagery and inspiration for the installation.
48 x 8' ft and seven days later the 12 panels and 13 min' video was completed, installed and opened to the public as part of the Container Art installation project at Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition.

Curator Peter Male and project consultant Ronald Lewis Facchinetti (containerart.org) worked with eight local Vancouver artists in the opened themed installation of eight Intermodal Container units which displayed from Aug 24th - Sept 7th at the Vancouver PNE festival.

Beauty can transmit more then mere information regarding the spirit of a nation, and the 8 works selected by Peter Male for the Vancouver edition of Container Art have made me sense what a wonderful and complex country Canada is. Neal Nolan's train hopping story through the enormity of Canadian nature is an experience entirely alien to us Europeans.
-Ronald Lewis Facchinetti

Left and right landscape photos of container installation


Flattened 360 degree layout of container

-Detail photos of installation: