Immersed in the equine world with her father a thoroughbred trainer, Ms Nolen was taught to respect and maintain a safe distance from horses.
‘I shared a horse with my sister, but I never really gave myself to the experience because I was quite fearful of them,’ she said.
The accomplished portrait artist recently reconnected with her equine past by painting a series of portraits of Australia’s most famous racehorse, Black Caviar.
Her solo exhibition, Up Close, will go on show at the State Equestrian Centre in Brigadoon next month.
‘My brother’s son Luke was Black Caviar’s regular jockey and in early 2011, I had an opportunity to paint the pair,’ she said.
‘She is all-powerful; the experience was extraordinary.
‘Just knowing the impact the horse had on so many people of our nation, I felt privileged to have had that connection.’
Undefeated in 25 races, Black Caviar was retired earlier this year, ranked the best sprinter in the world.
Ms Nolen says ‘she changed the face of racing’.
‘People had a new understanding and grew to acknowledge the racing industry, so to have such an iconic horse in our century and for me to have that relived in another capacity is extraordinary,’ she said.
Included in the exhibition is a portrait of well-known WA equestrian identity Les Bunning and his horse.
All works in the exhibition are for sale.