I am enamoured with the extraordinary and create composites using mixed media, which express my fascination with the sciences, the social sciences and encompass psychology, whimsy, humour and the macabre. I draw inspiration from classic surrealism, magical realism, street art, collections of vintage medical and scientific illustrations, as well as many contemporary artists whose work I resonate with. I create digital composites using hand-drawn and public domain images, which are expertly and painstakingly hand-printed and drawn onto archival papers and then worked into with inks, watercolours, and mixed media.

My art explores the places beyond reason and the familiarity of everyday existence. It is a manifestation of an urgent, unquenchable need for the expression of years of unspoken truths, unthought thoughts, unfelt feelings, unfulfilled longings, losses, triumphs, lessons and personal evolution. I deconstruct feelings, thoughts and societal norms and examine them through the lens of my personal paradigm.

My love of Jungian theory, anatomy and biology has enabled me to discover and express powerful and emotive personal symbolism. I seek to provoke thoughts and feelings which deserve examination and connect with the viewers of my work in both a subliminal and emotional manner which transcends the banality of the labels we give ourselves and others. I do not always attach meaning to what I make, although meaning often blossoms from the resulting work that is both cathartic and enlightening. I strive for authenticity, trying to never contrive meaning or force interpretation on the viewer.

In my whimsical, more populist pieces (Life Beyond Reason works), I draw on my love of fairytales and magical realism to create worlds to inspire and delight.

Niki McQueen
Niki McQueen


Niki McQueen is a visual artist from Cape Town, South Africa, with a background in Marine Biology. After obtaining her MSc, she changed careers and pursued work in web, graphic design, and communications.

As the COVID pandemic swept the globe, she felt compelled to create and rediscovered, developed and expanded on an old technique using hand-printing and mixed media that she first learned studying art at school.

Enamoured with the extraordinary, she draws inspiration from multiple sources, from vintage medical and scientific collections to surrealism and magical realism. She creates digital compositions using public domain images which are expertly and painstakingly hand-printed and drawn onto archival papers.

Her art explores the places beyond reason and the familiarity of everyday existence. Themes include anatomy, biology, psychology, archetypal interplay, eroticism, decay and rebirth. Every work tells a story, be it personal or magical – the viewer is invited to explore meaning in their own interpretation of the work.

To date (Spring 2022) Niki has sold over 120 artworks, and has group-exhibited in over 6 cities nationally,

In 2021 and 2022, she placed in the top 40 finalists in the Vuleka Art Competition in Cape Town. She also placed in the Top 100 in the Sasol New Signatures Art Competition in September 2021, with her work on display at the Pretoria Art Museum. In November 2021, she won the Africa Regional Award in the international Copic Awards 2021.

She participated in her first exhibition in December 2020, followed by the Coming Home exhibition at the Imibala Gallery in May 2021. She is proud to have been represented by the Art@Africa galleries in 2021 and has works hanging in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Graaf Reinet, Somerset West and Hermanus. She also represented South Africa at the Art Connects Women Exhibit in Dubai in March 2023.

She published her first book of art and poetry in 2022 and was very proud to collaborate in 2022 with The Dresden Dolls and Amanda Palmer to create a collection of artworks for their 2023 tour.