OUR TEAM

Lamprima beetle - watercolour illustration by Julia Landford
JULIA LANDFORD - Founding Director of NatureArt Lab, established in 2017. Julia is an award-winning wildlife and botanical artist with a passion for nature. She has a strong interest in interdisciplinary art and science approaches environmental conservation and advocacy. Over the past 20 years, Julia has initiated many art science programs including:
  • establishment of Wildlife & Botanical Artists Inc (WABA, 1989-2018) in Canberra, a community arts organisation with over 100 members
  • initiation of new art, science and conservation networks across Australia
  • coordination of annual member art exhibitions and biannual national wildlife art exhibitions, and organised regular field trips and workshops for members
  • curated and led a national symposium on wildlife art and science in partnership with CSIRO
Julia has an extensive background in federal public sector management including a twenty-year career with Australia's Aid Program and Department of Foreign Affairs. Her career has included international development roles in South-East Asia, PNG and the Pacific region as well as in New York, Geneva and Rome with the United Nations. Julia is a qualified secondary education and adult education teacher and has a Masters Degree in Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development (Australian National University). Julia is a member of the Australian Association of Environmental Educators (AAEE), and is an Executive Committee member of the ACT Chapter. She was awarded the 'Environmental Educator of the Year for the ACT' in 2019, as recognition for excellence in environmental education and sustainability.

 

Photograph of green coloured tree snake by Damien Esquerre

DR. DAMIEN ESQUERRE  - scientist and researcher with the Australian National University who specializes in snake and lizard evolution. He is also an extraordinary nature photographer with over 10 years of experience, having travelled to some of the wildest places in South and Central America, Australia and Asia (including our 2019 Borneo field trip) exclusively to photograph wildlife and nature. His photos have appeared on several books, expos, magazines, scientific journal covers, newspapers and websites. Damien teaches nature photography courses and workshops at NatureArt Lab, and accompanies many of our nature immersion field trips around the world.

 

LESLEY WALLINGTON - professional artist and tutor with more than 20 years’ experience. During this time she has collected a series of awards for her unique and innovative paintings and has followed her journey in water based media through studies at the ANU. As a teacher Lesley combines theory and technical advice with straightforward practical instruction on working with watercolour, gouache, pencil, ink and collage. With an in depth knowledge of her medium and extensive experience teaching all age groups and levels, Lesley has the ability to inspire and direct a class while encouraging the unique style of individual students.

GILLIAN CARDEN - graphic designer and practicing artist with over 20 years' experience. Gillian combines theory and technical advice for our evening introductory watercolour and drawing classes. She has received excellent appraisals from students for her thorough approach to teaching.

 

Bonnie Koopmans - is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration at the University of Newcastle. Having previously completed the Bachelor of Communication Design at Monash University, she has a thorough and unique understanding of digital media, and a particular interest in the intersection of traditionally and digitally created art. Bonnie is fascinated by all aspects of nature but has a soft spot for insects and birds (especially pigeons!).

 

Julian Teh - is a Canberra-based natural history photographer and illustrator, who has recently graduated from the Bachelor of Natural History Illustration program at the University of Newcastle. With a background in ornithology, he finds great joy in using his creative skills to share his experiences from the field and passion for the natural world. Julian is particularly interested in the cultivation of digital art as a medium for natural history illustration, incorporating traditional techniques and processes into the digital toolkit to depict natural subjects and environments. 

Anna Voytsekhovich - holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Ecology, and a PhD in Botany. She is a professional scientist, scientific illustrator, botanical artist and wildlife illustrator. Anna was born in Ukraine in 1982, and is an author of several books and scientific papers. She is also a well-known a scientific illustrator. In 2016 she moved to Australia and became a member of the Botanical Art Society of Australia. She currently resides in Sydney and works on a Bush Habitat restoration of critically endangered plant community ESBS. Anna is a regular NatureArt Lab tutor, and has taught a range of programs over the past two years. 

 

Joan McKay - Canberra based artist and wildlife carer, Joan McKay, has been honing skills in the art of scratchboard during the last two years. When Joan saw how images could be realistically represented on a scratchboard, Joan enthusiastically attended workshops by Rikki Fisher to learn scratchboard techniques. She has found scratchboard to be a fantastic medium for realistically portraying macropods and birds she has cared for. Last September Joan was awarded first prize in the Strathnairn Arts Squares 2019 competition for her scratchboard image of 4 peewees. Joan holds science, education and library studies degrees and has studied and practised art throughout her life, including drawing (Vanderbilt University) and watercolour media (ANU).

 

Annette Dahler - is an established artist based in Canberra who has a passion for nature-inspired art and a depth of expertise with the use of colour pencils for natural history art. 

 

Margaret Saul - is a highly experienced botanical artist, illustrator and teacher. Margaret’s interest in nature and art developed in a family of artists and amateur naturalists who delighted in frequent nature rambles and excursions  with time to sketch and paint during summer holidays.  While staff illustrator for the Queensland Herbarium she produced illustrations for field guides and floras and developed a keen interest in botany and in helping to bring a greater awareness of native plants to the general public.  Since 1988 she has enjoyed teaching botanical art and facilitating “the art of seeing” for her many students in Australia and across the USA and as founding director and designer of a comprehensive curriculum for the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art & Illustration, USA (2004 – 2015).  Margaret is represented in private and public collections including The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, USA, the Sherwood collection in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK and in science and art publications. Her botanical portraits are published in four books that document botanical art. 

 

David Reynolds -  is an experienced botanical and natural history artist who enjoys painting in rich natural pigments, always looking to achieve a high level of accuracy within his work.

He describes his style as ‘Accurate Realism’ and is always looking to portray his botanical and wildlife subjects with the most accurate detail possible yet doing it in a ‘painterly’ way honouring the watercolour medium.

In May 2018, David had two Banksia paintings represented in the World Wide Botanical Art Exhibition held in Canberra – Banksia integrifolia and Banksia serrata. For further information about David's work please see his website at: www.davidreynoldsart.com.au

 

Valerie Kirk - studied art and design at Edinburgh College of Art, where she discovered woven tapestry. As a graduate she came to Australia and worked in the Australian Tapestry Workshop and travelled the country to teach in communities and colleges. Valerie works as an artist-in-residence, exhibits and leads community tapestry projects and textile tours. Between 1990-2017 she was a Senior Lecturer and Head of Textiles at the Australian National University.

During 2004-2019 she was commissioned to design and weave six major tapestries to celebrate Nobel/Japan/Kyoto Prizes in Science associated with the Australian National University.

Awards such as the Australia Council New Work grant, ACT Creative Arts Fellowship, Muse Arts Woman of the Year Award and the Canberra Centenary Community Tapestry project mark substantial success and her artwork can be seen in collections nationally and internationally.