Annette Nykiel


Artist Statement

At artistic, personal and cultural levels, I am developing relationships and connections with the country and people as I journey.  In the unstable and dynamic interface in the interstices between cultures there is the potential for dialectical conversations that alter meanings. I use my art to explore/articulate my experiences non-linguistically and more haptically than with the written or spoken language but still ‘telling’ a story.  Journeying between places and therefore existing in a space between places also influences and shapes my identity; the way I view my world changes as does the way I relate to it and how I communicate. I work in liminal spaces with whatever is at hand, intuitively informed by the ways I see and know the world and the struggle I have to articulate the tacit and haptic that has more meaning than mere words can communicate.

Experience, writing, making and understanding are all intertwined in both time and space and my ways of seeing, doing and making. There is the issue of language, where the written words are not adequate or at least I can’t make them fit – the experience and the context; hence the making – photographs and textiles, dyed and stitched. I work in the interstices between different ways of reading landscape; the art I make is a conversation only partly understood by artist and audience as the ‘language’ continues to develop and be interpreted.

There is a need in this contemporary society for a conversation about the spaces we move in and how we identify ourselves within them; my work aims to generate a space for this dialogue to be initialised and invites reciprocity through the sharing of stories. Where meaning, making and sharing assume differences in ways of seeing and knowing. Recognising different ways of seeing and knowing when moving between spaces opens room for this dialogue to commence.


Educational Qualifications

Ongoing self-taught stitch, fibre techniques

2014-present PhD Candidate School of Communications and Arts ECU

2009-2010 Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Australian Cultural Studies) (1st Class Honours) Curtin University

2006-2008 Bachelor of Arts (Art) Curtin University

1984-1986 Bachelor of  Science (Geology) UWA

Grants and scholarships
Bellwether Funding 2016, 2017

NAVA Australian Artists Grant 2016

WAFTA scholarship to Fibreswest 2015

Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) and an ECU Merit Award 2014-2017

Royalties for Regions 2009-2010 – Marlu Kuru Kuru women’s art project, infrastructure and business training

‘Guild On Show’ – 2008 (Marlu Kuru Kuru Exhibition 12/2-3/4 2009 Access Gallery, Bentley WA)


Solo Exhibition

2018 Meeting Place Spectrum Project Space


Group Exhibitions (Selected)

2017 Thresholds and Thoughtscapes Bunbury Regional Art Gallery

2017 Between the Sheets Gallery Central, Perth

2016 twentyONE+ Spectrum Project Space

2016 field  working  slow  making Spectrum Project Space

2016 Direct Address Wagga Wagga

2015 15 x 15  Fibreswest Muresk
2015 Memory and Commemoration Perth Convention Centre (collaboration)

2014 Inspired by Nalda The Painted Tree Gallery Northcliffe

2013 Mysterium Gallery Central, Perth

2013 Fingers and Petals Ellenbrook Arts

2012 Western Australian Photographic Book Showcase Perth Centre for Photography


Curated Exhibitions

2016 field  working  slow  making Spectrum Project Space (co curator)

2012 ‘Marlu Kuru Kuru’ Genesis in the Hills Restaurant Roleystone (curator)

2010 ‘Marlu Kuru Kuru’ Genesis in the Hills Restaurant Roleystone (curator)

2009 ‘Marlu Kuru Kuru’ Access Gallery in John Curtin Gallery (curator)



John Curtin Gallery Collection, Artspace Mackay, a number of private collections.


Presentations, Proceedings, and Papers

Nykiel, A. (2017 (forthcoming)). How ethical is a ball of string: the embodied ethics of creative practice-led bricoleuse? In B. Bolt (Ed.), The Ethics of Innovation and Creative Practice Research (under review)

Nykiel, A. (2017). A creative practice-led bricoleuse and questions of the Country. Paper presented at the Mapping the Inland: A Centre for the Study of the Inland Symposium, Latrobe University, Melbourne.

Nykiel, A. (2016). Reimaging the Country. Paper presented at the InASA 2016 Encounter, Recognition, Responsibility: Australia Reimagined., Notre Dame University, Fremantle Western Australia.

Nykiel, A. (2016). How ethical is a ball of string? Paper presented at the iDARE 2016: Creative Arts Research and the Ethics of Innovation, University of Melbourne, VCA, Southbank Campus.

Nykiel, A. (2015). Talking Country. Paper presented at the ACUADS Conference 2015: Art and Design Education In The Global 24/7, School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia.


Media Coverage

self published photo books
10th February 2009  Canning Community Newspaper
11th February 2009  Koori Mail Newspaper
14th February 2009  Kalgoorlie Miner Newspaper