Hiratsuka Niki


I was born in Australia to a Japanese mother and an English father. (**Trigger warning) I suffered from child sexual abuse so I use art as a way of healing for myself. I believe art is a powerful tool for social change, so I also use it to raise awareness of this issue by drawing portraits of women who want to share their stories.


I have studied art across a variety of disciplines - academia, history, philosophy, art therapy - and this has given me an appreciation for how I may make an impact on contemporary society through the power of artistic expression.

Years of Practice

I have been drawing/painting since I was a child, and have in the last few years made it a profession.

Information about work style

I work mainly as a portraitist of women, balancing realism with my subjective experience of the sitter.

Details about materials and techniques you use

I like to try new mediums and do not limit myself to what I can include in an image (I've used broken glass and egg shells in a painting before). However, I like to integrate classical techniques and traditional mediums because I think it is more powerful to keep links to the traditions of the past.

Why you create this type of art

I strive to redefine notions of feminine beauty in society while celebrating and giving a voice to those who have lived an extraordinary tale.

Where you find your inspiration

My inspiration comes from depicting the stories of the women that I draw and paint through their figure and facial expressions.

Which other artists and movements

I draw inspiration from ancient Greek art and the Italian Renaissance. I prefer realism to abstractionism, although any expressive movement will capture my interest.

Future Plans

I am currently in Vietnam at the beginning of a 40-year journey around the word to draw 1001 women in my project '1001 Portraits of the Goddess' (see www.facebook.com/1001portraitsofthegoddess) to raise awareness of sexual abuse. I am organising a large exhibition of the portraits in Vietnam towards the end of this year, in Hanoi.
I also intend to study the classical foundations of art at the Russian Art Academy in Florence where the traditions have been handed down intact from the Renaissance.


2016 Solo exhibition of twelve works at community space ‘Lentil as Anything’ in Newtown, Sydney.
2014 Sanguine conté on paper ballerina drawing exhibited in Warringah Art Prize Competition as finalist.
2004 Life size wooden sculpture of a cellist featured at an exhibition at the National Art School.

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