British-Australian artist Nikki Baily tells why her newfound home in Abu Dhabi is a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour

Nikki Baily’s hand-painted spherical landscapes of the UAE capital captures the vibrancy and beauty of the city.

“I arrived in Abu Dhabi on 14 February 2020,” says British-Australian artist, Nikki Baily. Not only was it Valentine’s Day, but just weeks before the UAE capital went into lockdown during the pandemic.

Already a seasoned artist known for her acrylic on large canvas, Nikki, who was now confined indoors, was missing her home in the Shoalhaven, on the south coast of New South Wales, Australia. It was during this time that Nikki came up with an incredible idea that would lessen the feeling of missing home through utilising her creative skills as an artist.

“I wanted to create something that had all the elements of home, ones that connected to my kids, our favourite places where we would dine, and the places we often visited,” the artist says. “It would remind me of everything that is close and important to me at home.”

While Nikki’s first hand-painted spherical first featured her hometown in the Shoalhaven, she then wanted to show her children the beauty of her newfound home of Abu Dhabi, a place she saw in a magnificent kaleidoscope of colour.

From her studio high up in Etihad Towers, to Al Ain and Dubai in the distance, the talented artist has now hand-painted a delightful recognisable spherical landscape of the UAE capital that captures the vibrancy and beauty of the city. The exclusive and detailed view of the emirate is a unique piece of art, layered with insight highlighting the amazing architecture that dominates the Abu Dhabi skyline and surrounding landscape.


Art By Nikki Baily


Bordered by the turquoise blue, calming waters of the Arabian Gulf to the mysterious desert sands, the unique piece of art captures the pace and excitement of Yas Island, the tranquillity of Saadiyat Island and the modern design of the cityscape all within her distinctive circular canvas style that uses watercolours and pen.

“There’s an old saying that ‘art is best viewed from a distance’ but the idea with this piece is to bring you into the city. To make you look for a second, third or fourth time and see something new,” says Nikki.

The beauty and creativity of her work, which at the time was a pastime, quickly caught the attention of Nikki’s girlfriends and consequently spawned a business idea.

“I sold prints of Abu Dhabi then moved on to creating spherical landscapes of Sydney then Dubai,” she says. “I then decided to leave my job as registrar at Raha International School to set up the business.”

Today, people commission Nikki to create maps and artworks of places that are important to them and that include their own elements. Etihad Modern Art Gallery, located within the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, has picked up on her imaginative artwork. Art lovers and tourists alike can now purchase her work there in the form of keepsakes such as prints, mugs, fridge magnets and more. “They are selling more than I thought they would,” says Nikki.

Nikki’s spherical landscape of the UAE capital is the latest in a new series of artworks developed over the last 18 months. While the series also includes Sydney Shoalhaven in Australia, Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, there are plans for new locations such as London and beyond.




Where do you call home? Cornwall, England, where I grew up; Sydney, Australia; and more recently, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

What did you study? Ceramics, art, history of art, and media and design.

What kind of artwork did you work on before creating these maps? My painting style has always been on large canvases in acrylic.

What inspires you? Amazing beaches, vistas and landscapes.

How would you describe your present artwork? A contemporary and fun twist on landscape painting using vibrant watercolours and pen.


To order your own unique piece of artwork and for more information, visit artbynikkibaily.com.

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Image source Nikki Baily

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