Nicola Dickson’s work explores perceptions of the natural world of Australia. As she says of her work; “I create paintings and drawings that explore Australian identity. The work focuses on the sense of ‘otherness’ felt by many people in response to the flora, fauna and indigenous people of this land. Within the unstable relationship between the self and ‘other’ a meld of the beautiful and bizarre, the uncanny and exotic is perceived. By quoting and transforming historical imagery I engage with the foundations, evolution and experience of these perceptions that strongly influence our sense of who we are.” Her most recent work is inspired by the D’Entrecasteaux expedition to Australia and the Pacific in 1792-3, with her previous work inspired by the drawings of the Austrian draughtsman, Ferdinand Bauer who joined the HMS Investigator in its circumnavigation of Australia in 1802-3.Nicola’s highly detailed and intricate paintings evoke not only a sense of beauty but also offer an opportunity to find historical resonances in the present.
Nicola Dickson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the School of Art at the Australian National University in 2003 before undertaking a PhD which she completed in 2010. She has exhibited widely since graduating and, in 2013, was a finalist in the Sulman Prize and, in 2013 and 2014, received a Highly Commended in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize. Her work is represented in the collections of the Canberra Museum and Gallery and Parliament House Art Collection.