Philippa Nikulinsky at the new WA Museum Boola Bardip

Philippa Nikulinsky at the new WA Museum Boola Bardip

Philippa Nikulinsky WA Museum

In April 2019, Philippa was approached by the WA Museum to see if she was interested in creating a watercolour painting of ‘WA wildflowers, particularly from Kwongan habitats’ for the new museum. Of course she was, and finally, today, many, many months later, the new WA Museum Boola Bardip is open.

Kwongan, or kwongkan comes from the Bibbulmun Noongar word for sand plain, and is now used by botanists and ecologists to describe this specific community of vegetation. 

“Southwest Australia, also known as the Kwongan, is therefore an old landscape with a stable climate. It has not seen glaciers or ice for more than 200 million years. This has allowed species to evolve without the major extinctions seen elsewhere in the world.
The region is about the size of England. England has about 1,500 species of vascular plants (all plants except ferns and mosses), 47 of them found nowhere else.
Contrast that with Southwest Australia, which harbours an astonishing 7,239 vascular plant species, almost 80% of which are found nowhere else in the world.” (Lambers & Bradshaw)


Head up to level 3 and walk inside the Wild Life exhibition to find Philippa’s exquisite painting of a sample of little plants, animal and insect life that exists in the ‘Kwongan’ region.

You can also find a plethora of studio Nikulinsky items in the new WA Museum shop. 

Philippa Nikulinsky WA Museum Greeting Cards Cape Arid Book

If you are interested in a fine art reproduction of this painting please get in touch.

Further reading about the Kwongan

Kwongan Foundation

Plant Life on the Sandplains in Southwest Australia: A global biodiversity hotspot Edited by Hans Lambers, published by UWAP

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