Nicki Laws is a vet, cattle breeder, writer and a collage and textile artist who lives on the Darling Downs near Kingsthorpe, Queensland. Her art practice is informed by the beauty and challenges of her environment and most often depicts landscapes or the birds and animals of this region.
While much of her work is two-dimensional collage or contemporary embroideries, Nicki has always had an interest in sculpture, exemplified more recently by a series of wrapped, stuffed and embellished wire forms depicting native birds and animals. She says these delicate and intricate forms take many hours of work each and invite closer inspection. ‘I want people to appreciate not only the incredible close-up details of our native fauna like wrens or tiny reptiles, but also marvel at their fragility and vulnerability. I hope viewers look at these creatures, and wonder not only how they are made, but how they survive in the bush’.
These 3-D artworks utilise vintage textiles, lace, buttons, beads and found objects, as well as silks and cottons coloured with native plant dyes. Recycled wire and plastic bags are the hidden structural elements of the sculptures.
She was the recipient of two Regional Arts Development Fund grants, one in 2011 for a textile collage exhibition ‘Acland: Fragments and Memories of a Township Undermined’, which toured Western Queensland 2011-13, and another for ‘Frocks, Country Halls and Deb Balls’ in 2014. This latter project was in collaboration with photographer Ann Alcock and resulted in a book, an ABC Landline feature ‘The Last Dance’ and a touring exhibition (2015-2017).
Nicki was awarded a Toowoomba Region Australia Day Cultural Award (2012) and Imagine You Know Toowoomba Biennial Emerging Artists Award 2012 and Travelling Schools Exhibition (3 artworks selected) Jan-Dec 2013.Three textile works were also included in a major exhibition ‘Habitat’: Environmental Artists of the Darling Downs (Dogwood Crossing Gallery, Nov 14- Jan 2015). She has undertaken tuition with India Flint (Australia), Bryant Holsenbeck (USA), Cordula Kagemann (Germany), Helen O’Hare (Ireland) and Allie Snow (NZ).
Bryant’s work, in particular, has inspired her sculptural art practice, and she hopes to translate and develop these techniques in the future to installations involving sculpture, printing and textiles while continuing with an environmental message.
Nicki Laws has a range of sculptures available at AK Bellinger Gallery, if you like something you see please contact Allison
please contact Allison at