When Art, Coffee and Culture Collide: The Amazing Work of

Nic Kelly


June 25th, 2019.

Part of what makes working in this industry so appealing is not only the creative freedom that you’re afforded through the roasting process, but the diverse range of creative minds that you come into contact with. A few years ago, an unsuspecting artist strolled through our doors, and what ensued was a truly unique creative collaboration. 

Nic Kelly is an interdisciplinary artist, former teacher and eternal pupil of the creative industries. Her diverse portfolio of work stands as a testament to her unrelenting creative drive; a drive that has been expressed across a variety of mediums, including photography, ceramics, sculpting, drawing and painting. Nic’s creative energy is currently being directed towards the canvas in preparation for her fourth major exhibition, titled, ‘Rendezvous’

A familiar face around the roastery, we’ve previously had the pleasure of displaying Nic’s work inside our walls, and will once again play the role of art gallery for ‘Rendezvous’. This time, however, Nic has taken her love of coffee to new extremes—not only integrating Ground Control Coffee into her creative process, but onto the canvas itself.

How exactly was this achieved? Nic’s process involved saturating the coffee grounds in water and leaving them for up to 36 hours, depending on the desired texture and solidity. Speaking to us recently, Nic explained, “The plunger came into play most days, extracting the various hues of brown that were then either applied to the canvas directly or sieved for an even finer finish”. 

To her surprise, there was a significant amount of variation between the individual blends that afforded her quite a bit of flexibility when painting. “Each blend was so different in not only colour, but texture, and could be watered down or thickened without losing its unique aroma”, Nic said, “it truly engulfed my painting space—heavenly!”.

Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Nic currently resides in the Northern Rivers of NSW. You need only look to her catalogue of work to see how profound of an impact the region has had on her life and art. “Growing up on the coast, I’ve always been surrounded by the mountains, beach, sun, surf, family and friends”, Nic explained, “I’m a true believer that nature, and all that it encompasses, is what brings us together as one''.

On where she drew inspiration for ‘Rendezvous’, Nic explained, “[It] came from the spaces that take me to a land of happiness and gratefulness”, continuing, “I chose to use one medium to capture different styles that showcased one of my happy places—coffee”. Why, you may ask, does coffee represent such a happy place? In Nic’s eyes, “It has an aroma of warmth, representing mornings and contentment; calming us, while giving us the energy to continue”.

“This has been such a wonderful learning journey of expressing my love of life, and the beauty that continually unfolds with each morn rising”, Nic continued, “I wish for this show to deliver discussion, realisations, smiles, associations, stimulation, and sincerely; just pure enjoyment and appreciation of our surroundings”. 

‘Rendezvous: Earth Meets Ocean’ will be on exhibition at Ground Control Coffee from July 6–August 16, with all works available for purchase. Nic will be hosting an exhibition opening at Ground Control Coffee on July 6 from 10:00am–12:00pm. RSVP your attendance by emailing For more information on Nic or to view her work, visit her website here