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Home Books Non-fiction Brush with Gondwana

Brush with Gondwana


Written by Janda Gooding
Artwork by Pat Dundas, Rica Erickson, Ellen Hickman, Penny Leech, Margaret Pieroni, Katrina Syme & Philippa Nikulinsky

Seven leading botanical artists are brought together for the first time in this beautifully illustrated book. Author Janda Gooding shares the stories behind each artist’s illustrations and reveals a rich and diverse record of Western Australia’s unique flora, fauna and fungi.

ISBN: 9781922089298
Dimensions: 29x23cm
Pages: 144
Publication year: 2013
Publisher: Fremantle Press


About the authors:

Janda Gooding worked as a Curator at the Art Gallery of Western Australia from 1979 to 2005 where she curated many thematic and survey exhibitions as well as retrospectives of Australian artists A.B. Webb and Kathleen O’Connor. In 2005 she moved to Canberra to take up a position as Senior Curator of Art at the Australian War Memorial where she began exploring the connections between art, landscape and history for a publication on Gallipoli. Her preoccupations are characterised by being at odds with her environment while trying to establish a garden in a drought stricken region and painting botanical studies of seaweeds in a land locked capital.

Pat Dundas is a well-known botanical illustrator who specialises in Orchids.

Rica Erickson’s early illustrated books, Orchids of the West (1951), Triggerplants (1958), and Plants of Prey in Australia (1968) have inspired botanical artists for decades. These guidebooks combined wonderful illustrations, simplicity of expression and good scientific information which encouraged readers to be inquisitive and to look closely at plants in the Western Australian bush. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Rica contributed articles to magazines such as Wildlife, Outdoors and the Australian Orchid Review. She died in September 2009, a year after launching Brush with Gondwana at the age of 100.

Ellen Hickman was born in England in 1968 and migrated to Western Australia in 1971. After completing a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Botany in 1991, she was employed by The University of Western Australia to illustrate a monograph of the family Restionaceae. In 1993 she travelled overseas, working as an illustrator at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew. After completing a Diploma of Visual Arts in Illustration in Melbourne she was selected to exhibit at the Biennial Art of Botanical Illustration at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. Ellen has been a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship and works as a consultant botanist and artist.

Penny Leech was born in England in 1947 and lives and works in Denmark, Western Australia. She is known for her ‘Found Objects’ paintings, a series which depicts often quirky and humorous narratives around a collection of items from bush and seashore. Penny was the founding member in 1992 of the Botanical Artists Group in WA.

Margaret Pieroni is a Western Australian artist and botanist.

Katrina Syme was born in the UK in 1947 and arrived in WA in 1953. On a holiday in Tasmania in 1982 she discovered fungi, filling her diary with paintings of their incredibly beautiful fruiting bodies. This fascination increases for Katrina with each passing year and she is torn between painting them and documenting new species.

Philippa Nikulinsky is the most celebrated of the wildlife artists living in Western Australia. Her particular specialty is recording the phenomenal natural history in this enormous state, a history that provides a famous national heritage that has fascinated experts and artists alike from the time of exploration onwards. Her reputation rests not merely in matters of accuracy, but in the degree of finesse and accomplishment in the design and arrangement of her subjects.