Philippa Nikulinsky’s career focuses on a lifetime fascination with the flora and fauna of the arid lands of Western Australia.
For nearly 50 years Philippa has travelled throughout this enormous state to record, draw and paint its phenomenal natural history. She has shared her gift for watercolour painting through teaching, exhibitions, commissioned works and publications.
From 1995 to 2005 she was commissioned to design and paint Australian plants and animals for use on dinnerware produced by Australian Fine China. These were sold throughout the world.
Brush with Royalty
In 2011 Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Perth for the meeting of Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM). Philippa was on a field trip 800kms away when she received a call to advise that the Queen would be presented with a gift of her limited-edition publication ‘Wildflowers of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia’ on behalf of the State Government and the people of Western Australia. Philippa flew from a back to Perth for the occasion and met the Queen.
Her latest collection of work, Cape Arid, focuses on one of Philippa’s favourite national parks. It includes paintings by her husband Alex Nikulinsky and is held at the world-renowned COMO The Treasury Hotel in Perth. In 2016, Prince Charles opened the hotel and was presented with a work from the series.
Order of Australia Award
In 2016 Philippa was made a Member (AM) in the general division of the Order of Australia “for significant service to the visual arts as a botanical painter and illustrator, to professional associations, and as an author".
Philippa has published many books, most notably:
- Flowering Plants of the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia (1983) Philippa Nikulinsky. Carr Boyd Minerals Limited.
- BANKSIA MENZIESII (1992) Philippa Nikulinsky.Fremantle Arts Centre Press.
- Life on the Rocks: The Art of Survival (1999) Philippa Nikulinsky and Stephen D. Hopper. Fremantle Arts Centre Press.
- Soul of the Desert (2000) Philippa Nikulinsky and Stephen D. Hopper. Fremantle Arts Centre Press.
- Cape Arid (2012) Philippa and Alex Nikulinsky. Fremantle Press.
From 1990 to 2006 Philippa painted the cover illustration of the quarterly magazine ‘Landscope’ for the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management. In 2004 Philippa was commissioned to paint leschenaultia for the May 2004 edition of ‘Curtis’, the magazine produced by the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, United Kingdom.
Philippa is currently working towards an exhibition, to be held at the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery (University of Western Australia) in 2019.