Book Review – Nikulinsky Unfolded XANTHORRHOEA

By Michael Barker

Now, close your eyes and spell, out loud, that word starting with X. And then say the word out loud. Good, now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to the book review!

When I say’ book’, well this is a book in the sense it has a hard cover and sort of has pages. But its really a work of art in between hard covers which is dedicated to the humble grass tree – Xanthorrhoea.

Philippa Nikulinsky, a reknown botanical painter, has painted the regenerative process of the grass tree on a continuous piece of Japanese kozo paper. Look at my photograph of the book stretched out to see how it opens up.

Actually it exudes a Japanese print with a rural scene, sans the grass trees. Precise, evocative. Something to stare at, think about, learn from. It’s really quite beautiful. And very Western Australian.

And you may buy it from Fremantle Press, which released the book at the beginning of December, from them or a good book store near you for $35.

The book is fundamentally a collectable one to add to your collection of Nikulinskys, including Cape Arid, Soul of the Desert and Firewood Banksia.

Give a copy to your more naturalistic friends, they’ll love it as much as I do, I’m sure. Or just buy it for yourself, even better!