The hills and coastline of the Otways attracts creative minds and artists from around the globe. We delight in promoting local artists in the magazine and sharing images of their beautiful artwork.
In the Autumn Issue Otway Life talks to inspiring local artist Nicola Perkin
What brought you here to this part of the world?
Born in London, I migrated to Melbourne in 1991 and we bought a beach house in Fairhaven having fallen in love with the Surf Coast on numerous summer holidays. After an interstate move we returned to Victoria, my husband retired and we moved permanently to Fairhaven, replacing the beach house with a permanent home. We have since extended the house with a studio.
What inspires you as an artist?
A recurring theme in my prints and paintings is my response to the Australian landscape. As a child in London I only saw the horizon once a year on our annual, seaside holiday. Consequently I was overwhelmed by the vastness of Australia and its ever-present horizon line. I explore my response to this landscape in an attempt to find my sense of place.
Now that I live permanently by the ocean the influences are changing, lines left by the tide on the sand, the dry, weathered cliff and ridge forms, the vastness of the horizon and the changing light. My abstracted landscapes are in oils, use a limited palette of colours tied to the landscape. Some works are textured, echoing the texture in the landscape, others are built up layers of colour capturing the changing light. My printmaking follows a similar vein, a limited palette and with texture.
Which artists have influenced your work?
I returned to formal art education as a ‘mature’ student, so my influences are wide and varied. From the British Romantic painter Turner and his emphasis on an emotional response to nature, the way in which sun, fire, smoke, wind and water affect and transform the natural world to Mark Rothko’s sublime abstract paintings.
I strongly relate to Robert Ryman’s interest in the physical properties of painting; that is the application of paint on a surface rather than any concern with creating an image. Another, more contemporary influence, would be Scottish painter Callum Innes who also explores the possibilities of paint on canvas by voiding areas of his monochromes through rubbing away the paint with turps, I endlessly apply pigment and rub or scratch it away to reveal the surface underneath.
What are your hopes for the future?
I am hoping to produce a body of paintings for an exhibition later this year. I have previously been Featured Artist at Qdos, the delightful gallery in Lorne (I can recommend their café too!), so I hope to exhibit there again.
I am also on the committee for the Anglesea Art House and hope that continues to grow and thrive in the future with new members learning and developing their creative skills in a friendly, encouraging environment.
Where can people view and buy your art?
As mentioned, I have a studio/gallery at the house which may be viewed by appointment. I also participate in the annual Surf Coast’s Arts Trail weekend held in early August, when my studio is open to the public. In previous years there has been a steady stream of visitors to my studio and many paintings and prints sold. Visitors appear to enjoy seeing an artist’s creative space and talking to the artist to better understand their work.
I can be contacted via my website nicolaperkin.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org