Nikala Bourke


Born in the Tasmanian city of Launceston, in 1971, Nikala completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Second Class Honours Upper Division in 2017 through the University of Tasmania, College of the Arts in Hobart. As an emerging visual artist workingprimarily in photography, Nikala commonly utilises such techniques as transparency, back-lighting, magnification,glass and water within analogue and digital photographic processes to fuel her curiosity and experimentation.

Revealing the notions of change in form and close representation of structure become evident in her artwork. As does the desire to observe, expose and compare the relationship with ourselves and plants, using the flower as metaphor for many elements of human psyche.

Her career as a Registered Nurse compliments her arts practice in ways that enable astrong ability to develop bonds with colleagues and portraituresubjects alike. Working alongside people and caring for their wounds and skin aids in the cultivation of her artistic practice, influencing the intimate and often visceral nature of her work which focusesprimarily on the observation of natural materials, includinglocal flowers, plants and seaweeds.

Replicating the mystery and enigmaticnature of water is another common thread in her practice. By considering its universal therapeutic and transformative nature, her work celebrates water and the emotional and cathartic pull that arises when we spend time near it.

Intimate views, complimenting of colours and intriguing textures and forms all  combine to reveal  the nature of life, its' cycles  and wonders. Engaging closely with organic materials allows me  space, to ponder on the awe of natural creation and to  transform it into an image.

Education, Awards and Scholarships:

2017     Bachelor of Fine Arts, Second Class Honours Upper Division, University of Tasmania.

2017     Placed on the Executive Dean's Honour Roll in the College ofArts, University of Tasmania, for study in the degree of Bachelor ofFine Arts with Honours

2017     Awarded the Arts Honours Scholarship, University of Tasmania.

2016     Placed on the Dean's Honour Roll for the Faculty of Arts,University of Tasmania, for the study in the degree Bachelor of FineArts.

2016     Member of The Golden Key International Honour Society foracademic achievement.

2016     Bachelor of Fine Arts, Photography Major, Tasmanian College of The Arts (Hunter Street), University of Tasmania.

2016     Finalist, Birchalls Tertiary Art Prize.

2015     Recipient of the Ted Pool Memorial Award for commitment, abilitiesand dedication. Rotary Club of Hobart and Tasmanian College of theArts, University of Tasmania.

2015     Winner - Digital Art Category, Kingborough Art Prize andExhibition.

2014     Awarded the Jon Lagos Prize in Fine Arts for excellence andartistic merit in second year studies. University of Tasmania.

2014     Dean's Honour Roll, Faculty of Arts, University of Tasmania.

2014     Finalist, Birchalls Tertiary Art Prize.

2009     Tafe Tasmania Hobart, Diploma in Digital Imaging.

Solo Exhibitions.

January 2017     -   The Skins of the River. Salamanca Arts Centre, Top Gallery Space.

Group Exhibitions

2018     Group Show, curated by artist Leonie Oakes, Gallery 152 York, Western Australia (September)

2018      All Female Group Show, Penny Contemporary (August).

2018     Waves and Wave Formations – with Cath Robinson, Moonah Arts Centre, Hobart.

2018      Fecund – Fertile Worlds A2018 Touring Exhibition curated by Clare Armitage,  Artback Northern Territory and South Australia.

2018     Drawing From Earth - combined Show with artists Linda Crispin and Jillian Catto. Sawtooth ARI, Launceston.

2017     Members Show, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart.

2017     Graduation Show for Honours and Masters Students, Plimsoll Gallery Hobart,Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania.

2017     Works In Progress Show for Honours and Masters Students, Plimsoll Gallery Hobart, Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania.

2017     Panopticon - Cocoon Installation. Presented by the Tasmanian College of the Arts, University of Tasmania, in association with Dark Mofo.

2017    Ten Days on The Island – photographer and assistant to Dr Brigita Ozolins for her Brighton Army Camp Project

2017     In Praise of Photography - TopSpace StudioGallery, Hobart. Curated by Christl Berg  and Ilona Schneider.

2017     MoMa - Mona Market -  Installation as part of art and science collaboration for The Derwent Heavy Metals Project, Mona.

2017    The Medium is the Message with Phillip England and Dr Christine Owen, Entrepot Gallery, Hunter Street, Hobart.

2016     Members Show, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart.

2016     Birchalls Tertiary Art Prize Finalist Exhibition, NEW Gallery, Launceston.

2016     Kingborough Art Prize and Exhibition, Kingston Beach Hall.

2015     Not Just Painting, The Long Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre.

2015     Members Show, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart.

2015     Graduates Show: Final Body of Work Exhibition for Studio Majors (Photography), Tasmanian College of the Arts (Utas).

2015     Rotary Club of Hobart Annual Art Show, Wrest Point.

2015    Past Their Prime: A Celebration and Vestige with Phillip England, Entrepot Gallery, Hunter Street, Hobart.

2015     Kingborough Art Prize and Exhibition, Kingston Beach Community Hall.

2014     Members Show, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart.

2014     Birchalls Tertiary Art Prize Finalist Exhibition, NEW Gallery, Launceston.

2013     Members Show, Contemporary Art Tasmania, Hobart.

2009    Mawson Waterside Pavillion, Hobart. Real Beauties: Women Living with Breast Cancer, with Victoria Henderson.


Nikala is represented by Penny Contemporary Gallery in Hobart, Tasmania.



Nikala has work in the Henry Jones Art Hotel Collection



Plateform - a French online magazine aimed at exhibiting new artists and talents. Issue 96, pp.100-117, 2017.


University of Tasmania (Tasmanian College of the Arts) Student Booklet for 2016.


Kingborough Chronicle, Monday, 11 May 2015.


Togatus Magazine, Issue 6, August 2014, p.13.


Using Format