Buy Art Online by Nicki Manthel
Nicki is a trans-Tasman artist with a studio in Melbourne and Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast. She combines her busy painting practice with teaching contemporary painting at the Malvern Artists' Society in Melbourne and frequent trips home to New Zealand.
Moving to Melbourne has created a shift in her work, initially exploring the Victorian gardens of her new city, it now focuses mainly on plants, flowers and trees - expressing a love of the natural world, a fascination with light and of a passion for expressive paint.
Her work is very media driven, combining various materials such as acrylic stains, drawing with oil sticks and applying oil paint to achieve a strong, expressive response to her subject matter. Nicki pays special attention to the surfaces and supports she paints on, using them to reflect and create a connection with her natural subjects.
Stretched and sealed raw linens and canvas provide a textured, plant based surface to paint on. Silver leaf on linen is another surface Nicki enjoys. This technique exploits the texture of the linen, breaking the delicate silver as it is applied and allowing the linen to show through in places. This quality references the beauty there is in the decay of the blooms she paints and the light that surrounds them.
Since completing her Degree in Fine Art at Elam, Auckland in 2004, Nicki has exhibited regularly. She completed a mammoth commission for the Hilton Hotel Apartments in Queenstown three years ago, painting forty three abstract landscapes of the Southern Alps.
Most recently she has had a sell out exhibition at Carbon Black Gallery in Melbourne in July last year, entitled 'Biophilia' - a term that describes the innate affinity human beings have with the natural world. This is reflected in the scale of her images - large body sized flowers and plants that bring her subjects 'up close and personal'.