Nici Cumpston - Artist - at Michael Reid Gallery

Nici Cumpston

  • Nici Cumpston
    Barka Messenger, 2021

    63 × 170 cm
    $8,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Great Grandmother Barka, 2021

    80 × 80 cm
    $6,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Mulyawongk, Whroo, Rushworth State Forest, 2013-2015

    80 × 80 cm
    $6,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Oh my Murray Darling, 2019

    75 × 175 cm
  • Winter-III-Nookamka-Lake

    Nici Cumpston
    Winter III, Nookamka Lake, 2010

    75 × 205 cm
    $8,000
  • Tree-Stumps-Western-Shoreline-Nookamka

    Nici Cumpston
    Tree stumps, Western Shoreline, Nookamka, 2010

    75 × 205 cm
    $8,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Shelter I & II, quartzite ridge, 2011

    98 × 196 cm
    $12,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Fossil Waterhole, 2011/13

    65 × 175 cm
    $8,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Listening to the River, 2005/2016

    72 × 170 cm
  • Nici Cumpston
    Ringbarked II, Nookamka Lake, 2011/2016

    72 × 170 cm
    $8,000
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    Nici Cumpston
    Listening to the River, 2005-2019

    58.5 × 145.5 cm
    $7,500
  • Nici Cumpston
    Bared, 2020

    180 × 70 cm
    $8,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Bared (triptych), 2020

    300 × 110 cm
    $22,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Memorial I, 2016

    61 × 40 cm
    $2,000
  • Nici Cumpston
    Mulyawongk, 2016

    53.5 × 53.5 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Mungo I, 2016

    54 × 39.5 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Fossil Waterhole, 2016

    36 × 71.8 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Ringbarked, 2016

    36 × 71.8 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Flooded Gum, 2016

    36 × 71.3 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Winter III, 2016

    36 × 67.5 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Winter II, 2016

    36 × 67.5 cm
    $1,800
  • Nici Cumpston
    Winter I, 2016

    36 × 67.5 cm
    $1,800
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    Nici Cumpston
    Memorial II, 2016

    40 × 49.5 cm
    $2,000
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Artist profile

Nici Cumpston

Born in Adelaide in 1963, Nici Cumpston became known in the mid 2000s for her large-scale handcoloured landscapes of the Murray-Darling river system. A Barkindji woman whose Country around the lower Darling had experienced significant decline through the effects of drought, poor water management and overuse, Cumpston’s beautifully rendered landscapes seek to draw attention to the decline of the area’s delicately balanced ecosystems. By focusing on sites and markers of Indigenous significance, Cumpston also brings together Indigenous knowledge and environmental consciousness.

Cumpston pushes the boundaries of documentary photography with her unique approach of shooting on black-and-white film, which she then scans and prints digitally on canvas before they are hand-coloured by the artist. The handcolouring of images has a long history in photography. During the infancy of the medium in the mid nineteenth century, the practice of applying paint, dye or other media to a photograph added both lifelike colour to black-and-white pictures and longevity to images that faded quickly. The 1970s saw a revival of handcolouring among a number of Australian photographers and it remains a significant aspect of contemporary practice. Cumpston handcolours large-scale landscapes of the Murray-Darling river system as a way of documenting traces of Indigenous occupation and use and of bringing to our attention the decline of the area’s delicately balanced ecosystems.

Having studied fine arts, specialising in Photography at the University of South Australia, Nici has worked as a photographic lecturer at Tauondi Aboriginal Community College, Port Adelaide, as well as at the University of South Australia. She currently holds the position of Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia. Her work is held in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne, Parliament House Collection Canberra, Macquarie Group Collection Sydney, Artbank Melbourne, Flinders University Art Collection Adelaide, the Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation Adelaide and the Adelaide Club Adelaide among many others.