Nicole Bourke attended the University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts from 2005 – 2011. Her first solo exhibition was at the CoCA in Christchurch. Since then she has exhibited in many group shows in Canterbury and Auckland, along with a show at the Switchback Gallery, Monash University in Victoria, Australia. Her work is held in many private collections as well as by The James Wallace Art Collection and NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Bourke’s art practice is a process of scientific experimentation and examination. She is fascinated by the complex patterns and details inherent in microphotographs of the natural and the cellular. These microphotographs depict a specimen so closely that you feel transported into another world of dewy crystalline, exotic colours and amorphous shapes. It is this hidden world which is explored by Bourke as she transforms photographic imagery into three-dimensional forms. The forms evoke the surreal and fantastical, as they are generated from the depths of her artistic imagination. A wide array of materials and processes are used in exploration of Bourke’s ideas, including polystyrene, wood, latex, flocking, gloss medium and expanding foam. She approaches materials with a sense of playfulness as they are poured, dripped, layered and expanded and the outcome is often intuitive and determined through this act of experimentation.