BOOK: Nina Simone’s Gum by Warren Ellis
In 1999, Nina Simone gave a rare performance as part of Nick Cave's Meltdown Festival. After the show, in a state of awe, Cave’s bandmate Warren Ellis crept onto the stage, took Simone’s piece of chewed gum from the piano, wrapped it in her stage towel and put it in his bag. The gum stayed with him for two decades, a sacred object growing in significance with every passing year. In 2019, Cave asked Ellis to contribute it to an exhibition. Worrying the gum would be damaged or lost, Ellis had it cast in silver and gold, sparking a chain of events that no one could have predicted, and that would take him back to his childhood. This new book is the story of how something so small can form beautiful connections between people – and a celebration of artistic process, friendship and understanding.