Nikolina Okuka
Professional Artist 





























© Copyright Nikolina Okuka

ISBN 978-2-9815893-0-9

Legal Deposit- Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 2016


The materials and images on this site are protected by copyright and/or other intellectual property laws. Any unauthorized use of the materials and artwork of this site may violate such laws. Except as specifically permitted herein, no portion of the information or documents nor images on this site may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Nikolina Okuka. 
For all informations of copyright laws:  Copyright Board Canada  Canadian Intellectual Property Office


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Series: Genesis and Earth Treasures


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“The stone, containing all the secrets of life, there for thousands of years, is the origin of matter.”

In the beginning, there was only water, nothing else.

Fossils bear witness to life as it was when time was unlike today: slow, precise, accurate, quiet, but above all measured.

From the espousal of water and earth, stones were born.
From these stones will emerge opportunities to sculpt time and impart fluid shapes.

And so in the mud lay magnificent minerals.
Hidden away in the marl, clay and soil lay stones, trivial for diamond dealers, yet sublime for peasants.

Sapphire, ruby and emerald on the one hand, limestone, iron, silica, sandstone and sand on the other.
But all are alike, loaded with magnetism:
 burnt by the sun, cracked and melted by lightning, polished by the surf, shined by the entropy of winds harsh and brief, soft and long, the fate of stones remains less the lot of palaces or chief princes than that of ruts in fields or potholes in roads.

Stones of nature versus stones of culture.

The poetry of stones is rough, uncut; it ignores the artifice of men, the volition of artists, builders, craftsmen or emperors.

The time of the stones is of another time.

Les Formes du temps
Théorie du sauternes
Michel Onfray


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Series : Deserts


Artistic analysis
By Alexis Lapointe, Writer 

Imparting a mysterious energy to the core of the abstract, stone or crystal is unfailingly at the heart of Nikolina Okuka’s artwork. Her art sometimes recalls the pupil of an eye, the sun, or a planet caught in its orbit. By using stones as catalysts to memory, both human and earthly, Okuka’s series "Trésors de la terre - Earth’s Treasures” reveals itself as a celebration of these earthly gems. Following her intuition, she discovers the stones as the foundations of the artistic expression of her subconscious. 

In honour of Nature’s powers, Okuka’s works take life in the mineral world, inspired by the stones’ composition, where colour, movement and texture are echoed on canvas. Flowing lines represented on the canvas are reminiscent of the mountain ranges and streams that run along the Earth's crust. Evoking the cartography of our planet, the oceans’ waves or the surface of the moon, the artist defines a new world in her own way. By turning on and off a light source, her backlit paintings simulate an alternating day and night effect, uncovering a cosmic dimension. 

The artistic style introduced by Okuka through this study is called Gem Art® (or Gemstone Art). She explores the relationship between the stones’ properties and their surroundings. Every distinct stone radiates with energy located at the source of an equally unique canvas. Her creative response to the earthly powers of stones comes across as liberating. This back-and-forth between the stones’ perfect geometry and the abstract is unravelled as the key to the secrets confined in the intimate history underlying this artistic work. 

The works of Nikolina Okuka offer a different perspective on stones and beauty. A delicate, yet magical balance emerges and amazes. The artist is inspired by the meeting with Nature’s creations, bringing forth gemstones that, in turn, evolve into a whole new realm of creation.


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Series: Small treasures                                                                  


Gem Art® is so to speak an ode to some of Nature’s creations that fascinate by their immortality: stones and crystals.

I see these earthly elements as the perfect communion of beauty and energy. They were not shaped by human hands, but by time and Nature.

I draw inspiration from the power hiding in their perfect geometry and the radiant beauty condensed in their resplendent colours. My hands are guided by the emotions aroused by these treasures of the Earth and they are integral components of my works of art.

By making several tests and trials, I wanted to develop a way that would be uniquely my own: to integrate semi-precious stones and crystals into my paintings.Working with this artistic method, gemstones are showcased in artworks that look like landscapes observable only from space. Although I work on canvas and wooden panel, I consider my paintings as sculptures. My works are always textured and in relief, practically three-dimensional.By reproducing their texture, their hue, and their age-old markings, each of my canvases become a tribute to a specific stone. My paintings are close-ups of small details at the heart of the harmony and beauty of the gems. Inlaying a fine stone or crystal involves much more than merely gluing a gemstone onto a pictorial space.My work begins with a study of the stone and its properties. I analyze the composition of the gemstone to then create my own colors. Certain stones are crushed to use their pigment. I subsequently adjust my technique and work to every gemstone respecting their uniqueness.

At a first glance, the viewer has the impression that the background of the canvas is the natural continuation of the stone or crystal used. In the series " Les Trésors de la Terre " (“Earth's Treasures”), I have come up with an innovative technique in which I integrate a bright light behind my works, which can switch on and off, thereby highlighting the magnificence and preciousness of the sliced gemstone. The illumination of the translucent stone prompts a second look onto the whole artwork itself. I take this method even further by integrating a light sensor. The canvas takes on the ambiance of its location depending on the time of day.This light is a beacon for me since it is the stone that helped me find this unique style that distinguishes my work. 

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