Painter’s Corner


Nicola Dickson, Rococo Parrot series, 2007.

Arguably the best thing about going to art school is the opportunity to meet  some extraordinarily talented, and remarkably wonderful, people. And not only those in one’s chosen medium.

The 1st semester of the first year at the ANU School of Art is spent in ‘Core’; a foundation period that throws you into a mixed bag of folk who literally straddle the gamut of workshops (you don’t actually go into your designated discipline, proper, until 2nd semester.)

This system is primarily designed to inculcate students with the multi-dextrous visual literacy essential for an ongoing ‘career’ in the (f)Arts. But of course it naturally also delivers the added advantage of kick-starting a nascent networking mechanism that cannot but help stand one in probable good stead, both philosophically and practically (if consciously genuine), for many years to come.

This is further progressed by ensuing complementary (sub-major) electives – which broaden the skill set and incrementally expose the wanna-be-Vincent/Leonardo/Andy to countless like-minded others in the extended arts community. And then some. 

At the very least this circumvents unattractive creative imbreeding. It also -obviously -paves the way for all manner of collaborative possibilities. But most importantly it forges firm and enriching friendships. One of which is…

Our mate Nicky; who will henceforth be known, to you, as Nicola Dickson: Painter.

Nicky and the gang first met when we were both doing printmedia as a sub-major. She was, from the outset, seriously good (while we were merely me).

These days she’s doing her PhD.  And her painting has become increasingly sophisticated and infinitely more desirable (hah! as if that’s at all possible – after all, how more desirable can desirable be?). We love it, dead set. We always have.

So she’s the first in our series of our-fave-contemporary-artists-who-don’t-do-glass.


And keep a weather-eye out. If we did have a suggestion it would be this – buy while you can still afford her.