British born, Nicola is a Sydney based artist working out of her studio on the Northern Beaches. She was a finalist in The Northern Beaches Environmental Art Prize 2023, The Little Things Art Prize 2023 and in both NEAP 2021 and 2022 prizes.Her botanical studies are unpretentious and contemporary depictions of native flora with the viewer finding comfort in the familiar motifs of the Australian Bush.
“Botanical Studies – Returning my gaze to Australian native botanicals is like a balm, a constant source of delight and comfort. The rest of the world might be in turmoil but I know I can find solace here. My love affair with native plants began when I visited as a backpacker almost 25 years ago. One of the houses I stayed in had a Margaret Preston print on the kitchen wall and I was awestruck, I’d never seen anything like it! My learning and appreciation for Australian natives deepens as I observe and render their forms in oil pastel. The medium leaves little room for fussiness, I work quickly, finding the best way to describe what is in front of me with minimal detail. Simplifying form and colour. I aim to give a true representation of the plant, to honour it’s actual make-up but at the same time I’m not interested in a scientifically accurate drawing, I hope to evoke a feeling of awe, of gratitude or of comfort.This collection of botanical studies was a joy to create and features some of my favourites, the other-worldly Banksia baueri or ’Teddy Bear’ Banksia, the super soft Flannel Flower; delicately formed yet resilient and hardy, and the incredible Bell Fruited Mallee with acid yellow blossoms and dark black centres. I don’t think they meet traditional standards of ‘beauty’, but that is what I love most about them. ” Nicola Woodcock