Rupert, Baillieu Myer’s son, has followed Nicholl’s work. He purchased examples of his paintings and sculpture and in 2001 he opened his exhibition at Nellie Castan Art Gallery. It was he who arranged for an introduction and visit to Elgee Park which resulted in Baillieu suggesting a sculpture based on the theme of the vineyard, grapes and wine.
After making several preliminary drawings, Nicholls carved a maquette in Sydney blue-gum of two abstracted figures reaching upward and holding a platter with wine jugs. There are bunches of grapes underfoot. He completed the large-scale work in yellow box, then painted the wood with a solution of iron oxide to produce an almost black patina. This description may lead readers to believe that the work is illustrational; it certainly is not. The forms are simple and strong, the upward movement vigorous and the dark silhouette can be seen from a considerable distance. As the artist stated emphatically to the author, ‘It is not decoration. Not public art. It’s sculpture!’.