‘Florescence – the Process of Flowering’
Artworks by Fiona Verity and Julie Nicholson
at the Corner Gallery from 25th March to 3rd April, 2023.
Julie Nicholson is an emerging artist living and working in Avalon Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Mainly working in acrylics and oil pastels, Nicholson uses thin glazes and mark-making to create multiple textures and depth. She has recently been exploring reflections and depths on water and the light on the surface.
Nicholson won first prize in painting at the Ewart Art Prize 2021, is a finalist in the Northern Beaches Environmental Art Award 2022 and 2021, The Fishers Ghost Award 2022, and Semi-finalist in the 2021 KAAF Art Award. She also co-hosts the popular arts podcast, Art W**k.
Art has followed Nicholson throughout her life, first studying architectural stained glass in Wales and immersing herself in her new landscape painting nearby ocean views. The Pittwater Artist Trail set Nicholson in a motion to push her art practice forwards, seeking the challenge of abstraction. Beginning with sketches from landscapes and life drawings, Nicholson develops the composition of her artworks. Living in close proximity to the Pittwater necessitates ample time sketching and recording information on the water in her beloved boat, Birdy, and translating them into paintings back in the studio.
Within her paintings, the composition is filled with layers; only three-quarters of the original canvas remains with paint scraped back, revealing narratives beneath. The artist relates this to solving a puzzle, putting the pieces together. A process unfolds of complex layering patterns — chucking paint on a canvas, squashing it together, making texture.
The process is alive, and the results can be seen within the artwork, like watching the waves — ever-changing and playing tricks on your mind. This process adds depth, and 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. Nicholson approaches each artwork in 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.
The tangle of lines and drips invites the audience to come closer and appreciate their multi-dimensionality. Both depths of field and bearing on nature through a profound obsession with green and blue depict her memories of home; evoking such sensations of longing through their washes of acrylic, layered across the canvas. “My paintings are simply from the inside looking out, questioning where home is and what it means,” Nicholson adds.
Alongside her art practice, Nicholson also co-hosts a podcast with fellow artist Fiona Verity. Cheekily named Art Wank, the duo expose the underbelly of the artwork through interviews with artists, curators, and creatives. One beyond a polished veneer, and instead focused on the process and practice of contemporary art.
Never limiting herself to a single medium or material, Fiona’s works on paper, wood and canvas incorporate negative space, found objects and sculptural forms creating works dense with texture and colour to represent her perspective of place and the people in them.
2021 Two Artists one podcast – double solo with Julie Nicholson – Sydney Road Gallery – Sydney 2020 Inside Outside – Art Gallery on Palm Beach – Sydney
2018 Wanderlust – Eramboo Environmental Arts Centre – Sydney.
2017 Land Sea Sky – Double solo with Debbie Mackinnon – Me Gallery – St Leonards – Sydney
2016 Rockpool – Gallery 4 – Manly – Sydney
2014 Lagoon – Gallery 4 – Manly – Sydney
2013 Oceans Closed – Angel Artspace – Manly – Sydney
2022 Finalist Northern Beaches Environmental Art & Design prize.
2021 Finalist Hawkesbury Art prize
2021 9 x 5 Landscape Art Prize finalist
2019 9 x 5 Landscape Art Prize finalist
2019 Mini Series Art prize finalist The Corner Store Orange NSW.
2019 Little Things art prize finalist St Cloche Gallery, Paddington.
2018 Little Things art prize finalist St Cloche Gallery, Paddington.
2015 Warringah Art prize finalist