Colony 3 - Gannets, Bass Rock, mixed media
Colony 3 - Gannets, Bass Rock, mixed media

Nik Pollard

Nik is from Bristol and became a professional member of the SWLA in 1997. He received the Swarovski Bird Artist of the Year award in 2013 and the RSPB award 2019

Nik’s work is generated from sustained, direct observation with paintings and drawings often resolved in the field. A period of dedicated study at single or related locations is a necessary part of his process. Drawing from all the senses, he investigates the rhythms and characteristics of a location and it’s ecology, resulting in a sense of time and place.

Working with a range of mediums, he focuses on the essential aspects of what it is that has drawn him to the subject. Searching for a balance between figuration and abstraction he enjoys exploring the ambiguity and serendipity of mark-making. When working in the studio he often turns to printmaking in order to pursue an idea further, substituting the thrill of the first-hand direct response with the magic of printmaking and the exploration of materials and processes that cannot easily be replicated outdoors.

Nik has been involved and has helped develop a number of SWLA projects, he sees art education as a perfect opportunity to help people re-engage with nature and believes that art has a role in promoting conservation stories. Teaching is an integral part of his practice; he has been a guest tutor at the RCA, Artist in Residence at Marlborough College and is the Programme Director at Rabley Drawing Centre in Wiltshire.

He has been commissioned as a designer/​illustrator by conservation NGOs, private companies and publishers; illustrating subjects ranging from Peter and the Wolf to the HS2.

Nik graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1998


  • Aig an Oir
  • The Forgotten Forest
  • The Great Fen
  • Sales, Winds and Meadow Birds
  • The Elegant Fowl
  • Flight Lines
  • The Tide
  • The River
  • Wildlife in Printmaking


  • Minsmere book projects
  • Aig an Oir
  • Wallasea project
  • Turkish Sweetgum Project
  • Kingcombe residency
  • The Waddensea Project

Images from around this site by Nik: