Nikulinsky Naturally: An Artist’s Life
Illustrator: Philippa Nikulinsky
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Genre: Biography, Non-Fiction
Eminent and much-loved Western Australian artist Philippa Nikulinsky, AM, is best known for her work as a botanical artist, but the glorious wrap-around cover of this book, representing a murmuration of budgerigars descending on a waterhole, highlights her broader connection with natural history. The book celebrates Nikulinsky’s career, with contributing essayists Angela Nikulinsky, Ted Snell and Kingsley Dixon providing fascinating insights into the artist’s field trips into remote areas of the state; her work practices, including deep immersion in the world of her subjects; her evolving use of media; her influences and her place in art history; her long-term foray into publishing; and her importance in bringing art and science together in a way that nurtures appreciation of Western Australia’s unique flora and fauna. However, it is the colour plates of works dating from the early 1990s to 2018, occupying more than half the volume, that speak most eloquently of Nikulinsky’s brilliant career.