Born in Australia, Nicola now lives and works in Canberra. She attended the Australian National University, completing a Bachelor of Visual Art in 2003 and a PhD in 2010.
Nicola creates detailed paintings on traditional supports and found objects, often installing them with wall painting or wallpaper. The visual records created to document early contact between European voyagers and the people and lands of Australia and the Pacific in the 18th and 19th centuries are of particular interest to her. She works to re-imagine these early encounters in her paintings, concentrating on engaging with the complex circumstances that surrounded the production and circulation of the initial images. Her practice is based on archival and studio research. Studying original historical sources such as illustrations, prints, maps, journals and items of decorative art is an important part of her process. This enables her to directly respond to the stories materially embedded within these artefacts. In the studio she works to develop methods that visually quote and transform the historical imagery using a range of decorative devices. This mode of re-presenting historical records creates a space for fresh readings and alternate stories to be told of the past.