• Di von Essen

Talented Artist Celebrates the Unique Beauty of Nature


For someone whose passion is capturing nature through art, there’s no better place to be based than this stunning country we call home. Artist Nicole Berlach is surrounded by inspiration in Australia’s flora, fauna and landscapes, translating the beauty she sees into art prints, custom works, silk-screened linen, and nature and botanical journals.

Exploring the world through science and watercolour has always come naturally to Nicole. “I’ve always been an observer – light; colour; line; texture; movement,” she explains on her website. “And for as long as I can remember, I've been drawing what I see and feel.”

After growing up surrounded by art (her grandparents on both sides of the family were painters), she embarked upon a Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at age 21. There she learned to combine technical skill and artistic sensibility, and to take a fresh approach to working with traditional techniques and mediums. Nicole’s work has been recognised both at home and worldwide ever since.

If you’re visiting Nicole’s stall at the Olive Tree Markets or shopping in her online store, you’ll find a range of high-quality prints, greeting cards, journals and linen featuring her scientific and artistic work. Her latest collection, Woodland Plains, explores Australia’s endangered native grassland communities. Delicate, detailed watercolour works depict grasses, leaves, flowers and feathers, and the arresting beauty of creatures like the Peregrine Falcon, Regent Honeyeater and Murray Darling Python. The collection aims to “offer a rich and deep experience of this ancient habitat and consider its value within contemporary Australian life and culture,” Nicole explains. “I have utilised the genre of scientific illustration as developed by early naturalists to document this ‘untouched land’, inviting a critique of our experience of the Australian landscape.”

Browsing her other works, you’ll find, to name just a few things – a giant botanical world map; a collection of prints celebrating Australian fauna families; and a series of linen tea towels featuring Australia’s birds, wildflowers, estuary fish, edible seeds and even seahorses. Each work draws on the discipline and detail of scientific illustration while encompassing Nicole’s contemporary vision and style. The result is a diverse yet cohesive collection of works that resonate with art enthusiasts, scientific types and Australian nature-lovers alike.

As well as selling online, taking private commissions and visiting our own Olive Tree Markets, Nicole has work available at select boutiques and galleries around the country and makes regular appearances at the popular Finders Keepers market events in Sydney and Melbourne. Visitors to the new Bar Botanica in Erina, might also spot Nicole’s handiwork in the hand-painted botanical motifs adorning the space.

As well as talent and training, of course, all of Nicole’s art has one thing in common: passion. Her dedication to exploring and celebrating the unique beauty of nature shines through clearly in every work produced at her Umina Beach studio. “I love what I do – I'm so grateful to be able to share this gift,” Nicole says. “I hope my work encourages others to see the world with wider eyes – to slow down and appreciate the beauty in small things, and to be grateful.”

View more of Nicole’s artwork, order pieces and contact her for commissions at www.nicoleberlach.com. You can also keep up to date with her work and adventures via Instagram @nicoleberlach. And be sure to swing by her stall at The Olive Tree Market this month on June 1, followed by market days on July 13 and August 3, 2019. For more information and dates visit www.theolivetreemaket.com.au

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