10 of the Best New Emerging Australian Artists of 2021

Staying up-to-date with the Australian art scene or getting to grips with collecting art? Either way, finding up-and-coming artists can be quite the feat without a little direction. To help kickstart your collection, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite new emerging Australian artists that everybody should know about.

Amani Haydar

best new emerging australian artists

Amani Haydar at the canvas. Credit: Lulu Hussein

Lawyer, advocate, Bluethumb artist and 2018 Archibald Prize finalist – Amani Haydar has been shaking things up socially through the power of art. Last year was extremely fruitful for Amani, setting her on the path to popularity and respect for her paintings and illustrations, which frequently depict women expressing bittersweet emotion. Amani’s self-portrait, ‘Insert Headline Here’ was a finalist in the 2018 Archibald Prize and her painting ‘The Plight of the Victims’ was a finalist in the 2018 Law Society of NSW Just Art Prize. Amani’s personal and social context has been an expansive source of inspiration for her work. Sadness and emotion are balanced in her figurative works with an underlying sense of resilience and hope.

best new emerging australian artists

Inspired by the coming together of women across the world, Solidarity by Amani Haydar shows the sharing of women’s stories and is an exploration of the power and resilience that comes when women work together

Learn more about Amani in our interview with her earlier on in the year, or browse her portfolio here.

Bradley Kickett

Noongar artist Bradley Kickett began painting in 2007, but it’s only over the last three years that his unique style has developed into the hard-earned reputation he has today. Bradley’s aerial view of fluid, abstract paintings are heavily influenced by his experience of Noongar country – from the oceans to the rivers; the wildflowers and the land from airview, the flow and the shapes of the earth – the elements consistently shape Bradley’s technique. His ancestry additionally informs his work; the tales passed down to him from family and elders take life in Bradley’s art.

emerging Australian artists

Shoalwater is a stunning example of Bradey Kickett‘s work, encompassing his Indigenous background with his environment

See the world through Bradley’s eyes here.

Johanna Hildebrandt

best new emerging artists

Johanna Hildebrandt is Australia’s own answer to Rousseau! In this piece Bird Life in an Australian Landscape, her perspective skills are second to none

Celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of Australian flora and fauna, Johanna Hildebrandt’s acrylic paintings are a welcome edition to Bluethumb. The dynamic compositions are full of life and energy, with vivid colours and movement from her detailed birds. Like Post-Impressionist Henri Rousseau’s jungle paintings, a noted influence, Johanna’s work delivers a unique, dreamy and charming depiction of nature.

See more of Johanna’s vibrant landscapes here.

Erin Nicholls

best emerging australian artists

Memory Lane by Erin Nicholls captures the colour, detail and, consequently, essence of a famous alleyway in Tokyo which has a lot of lanterns and cherry blossoms in the spring

The detailed illustrative work of Erin Nicholls shows us urban scenes that have been influenced by her travels. She uses a restricted and controlled colour palette that is well balanced to contrast her realistic illustrations. More often than not containing a lonely figure with their back to the viewer, her work reminds us of stunning Studio Ghibli film stills, but even better, they put you into the film.

Explore Erin’s work here.

Nadia Culph

Dahlia photograph by Nadia Culph

Dahlia is an unforgettable example of Nadia’s masterful lighting.

Photographer Nadia Culph is immensely skilful at manipulating and controlling light. Her close-up still lifes are inspired by all of “nature’s curiosities and wonders”. Keeping her composition simple, Nadia creates stunning images that aim to bring the minuscule details of nature’s blooms to the fore. As they say, the devil is in the detail!

Angela Hawkey

best emerging australian artists

Abstract and landscape connoisseur Angela Hawkey is renowned for thick texture and intuitive colour use, as is shown in this piece, Winter Garden

Art pretty much flows through Angela Hawkey‘s blood. Raised in an artistic household with creative traditions, Angela has grown to experiment in photography, graphic design, ceramics – the list goes on. However, Angela is at her happiest with a paintbrush in hand and approaches the canvases with a free-flowing, unplanned and unpredictable mindset. “Even when starting with a subject or idea in mind, I freely deviate from the plan. I love the unexpected surprises and naturalness that comes from a relaxed style of painting.” Colour and texture take centre stage in Angela’s work, which forge thick, layered landscapes, abstracts and still life.

Shop Angela’s art here.

Abstract art for sale on Bluethumb

Kate Gradwell

A former scientist who’s found a second passion in painting, Kate Gradwell is quickly gaining the attention of the art world. The Sydney artist was a finalist in last year’s Archibald Prize with her piece Yindyamarra. Outside of major portrait prizes, Kate uses her gift for conveying the atmosphere of light in her landscapes. Her glowing canvases capture the stunning scenery of her local area and favourite holiday spots. Discover more here.

Marinka Parnham

best new emerging australian artists

The soft pastel colour palette used in Bella Bush offers a fresh abstract take on the Australian outback

Melbourne-based painter Marinka Parnham has come full creative circle on her artistic journey. From textile designing to teaching, her experiences have ultimately shaped the energetic contemporary character that emerges in Marinka’s work. Inspired by nature, landscapes and colour, flora and fauna are regular features within her art; her latest collection incorporates Australia’s quintessential nature with bold pops of colour, making it a hit with modern homeowners and interior designers alike.

Click here to make one of Marinka’s artworks your own.

Joseph Villanueva

best new emerging australian artists

In this artwork, Hanging Rock, Joseph has used the scratch back technique while the paint is still wet to reveal the complementary colours under the foreground. “I wanted to capture the two rock figures as almost melting or fusing together as part of the ground, contrasting the pink sky and distant horizon. Hanging rock is a mysterious place and the rocks are beautifully unreal, and I hope this painting expresses the strangeness of it.”

Similar to many artists on Bluethumb, Joseph Villanueva notes that a key source of inspiration for his work comes from nature: landscapes in bloom, wondrous skies, garden vistas in explosions of flowers and bright colours. You’ll have a hard time finding another artist doing what Joseph does, however – his sgraffito technique involves scratching through a layer of still-wet paint to reveal complementary colours underneath. Joseph’s use of optimistic colour and free-flowing lines may seem like abstract creations at first, but look a little closer and it’s clear that the compositions are grounded in figurations and structural elements describing the landscape.

Sophie Lawrence

L'Averse by Sophie Lawrence. Original abstract painting for sale.

L’Averse is a prime example of the kaleidoscope effect in Sophie Lawrence‘s work.

Canberra artist Sophie Lawrence builds layers upon layers of small circles to create stunning large abstracts and landscapes that take form when viewed from a distance. With a passion for colour and the effect of combining different hues, her work is a stunning spectacle that has captured the hearts of many interiors-obsessed collectors across the country. There’s a particular magic in her work that continually draws us in, which Sophie explains best of all: “My art is a kaleidoscope of colour and energy that are as beautiful close up as they are from a distance.”

Australian art for sale on Bluethumb



Our exhibition for NAIDOC Week 2021
Celebrating NAIDOC Week With Twin Exhibitions


  1. Dee says:

    Just tried to enter the address of our marketing person. The address was correct yet your system said it was not valid.
    Good one!

  2. Maurice says:

    Look forward to receiving regular emails.

  3. Kristy says:

    Couldn’t sign up for newsletter via link?

  4. pastelartprints says:

    Great painting and you are really doing well good luck!

  5. Sandra Messner says:

    Loving the works of the top emerging artist for 2019.

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