Julie Nicholson is an emerging artist living and working on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The artist first came to Australia 20 years ago from England, but still thinks about ‘home’. Her figurative work narrates the longing for home, confounded by a separation from family due to the pandemic. ‘I am fascinated and enriched by conversations and human connections.’ Mainly working in acrylics and oil pastels, Nicholson uses thin glazes and mark-making to create multiple textures and depth.
Nicholson won first prize in painting at the Ewart Art Prize 2021, is a finalist in the Northern Beaches Environmental Art Award 2021 and Semi-finalist in the 2021 KAAF Art Award. She also co-hosts the popular arts podcast, Art W**k.
“Growing up in the lush English countryside, the visions of rolling hills and family memories often find their way into my work. My paintings are simply from the inside looking out, questioning where home is and what it means. My figurative work narrates the longing for home, confounded by a separation from family due to the pandemic.
Within my paintings, the composition is filled with layers; three-quarters of the original canvas remaining with paint scraped back, revealing narratives beneath. I relate this to solving a puzzle, putting the pieces together. A process unfolds of complexing layering patterns — chucking paint on a canvas, squashing it together, making texture.
My process adds depth to a painting, whilst the different materials offer a multiplicity of textures. Acrylic paint, thin glazes; the active, vibrant paintings contain layering washes, scraping back paint, oil crayon and pastel — hiding components of the first layer and revealing anew. I approach each artwork with varying starting points and mark making — every painting retaining its own personality. Yet, like siblings, they are threaded together by a particular shape, colour, or texture found while playing with techniques.’
I am inspired by the rhythms and patterns that run through the fabric of nature, connecting humans to everything in our environment. To me, these patterns in nature disclose the extraordinary in the ordinary.”
SPECIAL RELEASE: July 2021