Nikulinsky Naturally

An expansive exhibition by Perth-based, internationally recognised botanical and wildlife artist, Philippa Nikulinsky will be held at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the University of Western Australia from 25 May to 17 August 2019.

Nikulinsky Naturally, which has been several years in the planning, is a survey of Philippa’s work from the 1970s to the present, providing a perspective on the unique qualities of her practice. It focuses on the evolution of her working methodology and exploring the ways in which she continues to interrogate the botanical riches of the Western Australian landscape.

Philippa has travelled the length and breadth of WA to record, draw and paint the flora and fauna of our enormous State.

“While preparing for this new exhibition, my field trips into remote areas such as the Great Sandy Desert have inspired some new directions in my work,” Philippa said.

“The exhibition will include some much larger works, some up to seven metres in length. These paintings are my response to the need to tell a wider story of amazing landscapes, wildlife and natural events I have captured in my field drawings. For example, bush turkeys in the outback grasslands; a vast expanse of blackened grass trees regenerating after fire.”

📸: Philippa Nikulinsky by Alex Nikulinsky

Philippa has been delighted to draw on some family help in getting ready for the exhibition. Her granddaughter, Anna, has been handy with the scissors in preparing cut out birds for a montage, her son, Andrei, has been preparing the digital images to help the gallery select the exhibition content and daughter-in-law, Angela, wrote the biography for the monograph Nikulinsky Naturally which will be launched with the exhibition. The book extends beyond the exhibition to a survey of Philippa’s life and work over the past fifty years.

Philippa will be giving some talks at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery in association with the exhibition.  She feels fortunate to have been able throughout her career to paint what she wants to depict.

“I value the creative freedom I have in working as a loner, the way I do, “she said.

Philippa’s work is represented in many collections and she has shared her gift for watercolour painting and drawing through teaching, exhibitions, commissioned works and publications. In 2016, she was awarded Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia, “for significant service to the visual arts as a botanical painter and illustrator, to professional associations, and as an author”.

The WA Parks Foundation is proud to have Philippa as a Park Ambassador.