Wendy Sharpe

W e n d y   S h a r p e

Ladders to the Sky

I’m a figurative painter and work in oil on canvas or linen from very small to large scale. On paper, I work in a range of media with gouache as a preference. I love the look of gouache and its ability to be either opaque or quite transparent.

Wendy Sharpe holds a BA (Vis Arts) from City Art Institute, a Graduate Diploma in Art Education and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Art Studies from Sydney College of Advanced Education and a Master of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales.

Sharpe has won many major national awards, scholarships and residencies, among which are the 1986 Sir John Sulman Prize; the 1992 Robert le Gay Brereton Drawing Prize; the 1995 Kedumba Drawing Prize; the 1996 Archibald Prize; The Portia Geach Memorial Award (1995, 2003)and the Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize.

Acclaimed as one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, she has been awarded many prestigious artist-in-residencies, including the Art Gallery of NSW Studio at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (twice); the Australian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, as a special guest of the Ambassador; the Antarctica Artist Residency, Mawson’s Hut Foundation, aboard the Aurora Australis on the Mawson Centenary voyage to Antarctica in 2012; the International Artist Residency in Zhouzhuang, China; Circus Oz, Australia, and the State Library of New South Wales.

Among her major commissions are an Olympic pool-sized mural based on the life of Annette Kellerman for the Cook and Philip Park Aquatic Centre, Sydney, a commission by the Australian War Memorial as an Australian Official Artist to East Timor in 1999 (the first woman since WW2) and a commission from the Art Centre Victoria to draw the Australian Ballet.

Having held over 60 solo exhibitions in Australia, China, Germany France and the UK, she is a regular finalist in the Archibald, Wynne, Sulman and Dobell Prizes at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. In 2011, Sharpe’s work was the subject of a retrospective, Wendy Sharpe: The Imagined Life, at S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.

Wendy Sharpe’s paintings depict an emotionally charged, topsy-turvy world that is evocative rather than prescriptive, beckoning her audiences to create their own narratives. She is known for her strong figurative paintings, her use of narrative and the sensuous application of paint. Sharpe’s work addresses universal human issues such as relationships and the human condition.

A member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 2005, Wendy Sharpe lives and works in Sydney and Paris, France.


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