In the Drawer: The Silver Lining

National Exhibition Register

  • Cha Cha Cha
    Nancy D Lane Cha Cha Cha, 2021
    Found object assemblage sculpture
    Image Credit
    Image courtesy of the artist

About the exhibition

Melbourne was in lockdown longer than any other city in the world: 262 days. During these times, found object assemblage artist Nancy D Lane collected a wide range of trash – including numerous wooden drawers – on her daily outdoor walks. These drawers symbolised containment, lockdown, isolation, quarantine: the situation in which Melburnians found themselves. Yet during this time, the artist witnessed immense resilience and spirit. People were undertaking imaginative family activities, exercising in unusual and creative ways, developing productive hobbies, and engaging in stimulating pursuits, all within severe public health restrictions. Despite the cloud of COVID-19, many people were creating their own silver lining. Lane has used this variety of positive experiences as a trigger to create images in the drawers – often abstractions rather than representations. She assembled them from metal, tile, wood and plastic gathered from streets, footpaths, parks, carparks and beaches. The exhibition evokes the confinement of the lockdowns, yet celebrates the buoyancy of the responses to it. Although Melbourne may have been worst effected, no part of Australia – indeed, the world – has been left untouched by the waves of Covid. The theme is one to which people of all ages and backgrounds can relate, and several of the drawers are especially appealing to children. One large central installation (2 metres in width) suggests a city in lockdown, with ‘buildings’ created from what once were signboards, wine crates, vacuum cleaners, window fittings, drain pipes, brooms, garden stakes, bed frames, skirting boards, tables and clothes racks. The flags and numerous padlocks were also all street finds. The rest of the exhibition comprises the silver linings: 21 drawers linked by the subthemes of House and Garden; Kids, Kids, Kids; Staying Fit; and Individual Indulgences. For each drawer, Lane briefly tells the story connected to it - the inspiration behind the image inside and the materials used in constructing it.

Artists and Curator

Nancy Lane (the artist), in conjunction with Ashley Higgs (City of Melbourne Libraries)

Nancy D Lane, working as NancyDee Sculptures

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
21/03/2022 - 31/12/2024
Exhibition size
Under 50 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
City of Melbourne Library Gallery
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Installation Support Available, Interpretative/Didactic Panels, Labels, Public Program Opportunities, Public Workshops
Other materials
Able to supply targeted press releases and high res images relevant to prospective audience. Artist has extensive public speaking and teaching experience, and is willing to undertake interviews to promote exhibition. She can also provide artist talks and tours (in person or via Zoom), and hands-on workshops for teens and adults on designing cityscapes from trash.
Primary contact
Nancy D Lane
River Studios
In the Drawer: The Silver Lining was supported by a City of Melbourne Arts Grant.