Artist Statement

"Natural Instincts" Solo Exhibition at Anita Traverso Gallery, Melbourne - 2007

The natural world is what continues to inspire me. Patterns in the bark of a tree, fine tapestries of veins left in dried-up leaves, reflections of clouds as a storm rolls across the ocean and coloured sands in the desert become filtered inscriptions on my canvases.

While I paint I rely on these inscriptions as well as my own natural instincts. I follow a process where I intuitively trust what mark to make next with my brush of palette knife.

From the olive greens of the melaleuca scrub to the red dirt of south-western Australia, these paintings, in both the making and the viewing, offer an opportunity for exploration and a place for playfulness and imagination.

By presenting a suite of images bordering on landscape painting and pure abstraction this exhibition posits the question of how we decipher between what is taught and what is instinctive.



Exhibition Opening

Words: Kerry Tabor, Principle at 'Spirit of Design'


Nicola Newman grew up in country Victoria where her love of nature and the outdoors was cultivated. She later moved to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast and now lives in Brisbane where she loves to leave the city and explore the surrounding bushland.

She says, “Nature connects me to something bigger than myself. It puts life in perspective.”

This collection, entitled “Natural Instincts,” combines Nicola’s love of nature together with a passion for mark making, without a prescribed imagery. She enjoys the luxuriousness and immediacy of paint. Starting from a colour and a desire to explore with the paint, she approaches each work with a trust in not knowing. She recreates in the studio a sense of the spontaneity, flow and bliss that one might experience in nature.

You can see in Nicola’s work her intention that people are uplifted and moved to be inquisitive about the natural world. Rather than focus on the downside of the environment and its destruction, Nicola chooses very consciously through her art to express nature’s beauty and it’s health (for mind, body and spirit). Nicola says that focusing on the aspects of nature that bring life and joy is empowering, and likely to motivate us to respect and preserve the natural world.

Within this collection you can see quite a diversity of colour, texture, application and mood in each painting. But each is linked through instinct and the intuitive process. Each reflects the many different facets of nature that Nicola so enjoys – a reflection on water, textures of rock crevices, the gentle rising of a morning mist….

I invite you to take your own journey into Nicola’s beautiful works of “Natural Instinct”. I know the experience of her art will be personal to you and to your relationships with nature, art and beauty. Which pieces will move you and stir your own instinct for wildness?


"Natural Instincts"


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