3 – 22 September 2015
about the exhibition
Nicola Dickson’s work explores perceptions of the natural world of Australia, with this exhibition inspired by the drawings of the Austrian draughtsman, Ferdinand Bauer. Bauer was nominated by Sir Joseph Banks to join HMS Investigator in its circumnavigation of Australia in 1802-3 and completed hundreds of drawings of Australian plants and animals. Only a small number of these were later transformed into engravings and published at that time due to financial restraints. By transforming sections of Bauer’s paintings, Nicola wishes to express her“sense of wonder for the bizarre beauty of Australian flora and fauna” that she believes she shares with Bauer. The inclusion of the geometric patterning in the paintings is a reference to the grids used in scientific drawings to indicate scale. She also alludes to “the cultural heritage that informed Bauer’s frame of reference by twisting and re-forming plants into decorative shapes based on European patterns.”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. This is Nicola’s first solo exhibition with Beaver Galleries.
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 collection of the Canberra Museum and Gallery and Parliament House.