News Archive

Selected articles and news items from the archives.

In the shower, Hill End 1994 0il on canvas 40x40cm


Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, NSW. April/ June, 2018

Interiors, an exhibition curated by Gavin Wilson from the work of eighteen artists includes paintings by Wendy Sharpe. The selection of Sharpe paintings includes some from her residency at Haefliger Cottage, Hill End.

In the exhibition catalogue, Wilson writes of the painting pictured above: During her inaugural residency at the cottage, Wendy Sharpe was keenly aware of the surrounds, finding inspiration from all aspects of the cottage including the idiosyncratic showering arrangement. It required a canvas bag of hot water to be raised by a rope pulley, releasing the water through a valve. Looking at In the shower, Hill End 1994, we see the artist mastering the challenge with her inimitable verve and wit.

The exhibition continues until 24th June 2018 at Orange Regional Gallery, Orange, NSW.

Gallery Link
Woman with Roses, Day of the Dead, Mexico, Gouache on paper, 23x29cm


Aarwun Gallery, Federation Square, O'Hanlon Place, Nicholls, Canberra, ACT. March/April, 2018

Artists, writers and composers have travelled to foreign countries in search of new experiences, since the days of the grand tour, often producing some of their most original and important work. In different surroundings, all the senses are heightened and there is a freshness of vision which is communicated directly to the viewer. Whenever I arrive for the first time in a foreign environment, the best way I can begin to get an understanding of what it looks like, how things are connected, and how people move in and out of it, is to sit and draw it. After a while what was incomprehensible, starts to make sense. Travel and painting are my two preoccupations. I am always planning my next trip. This travel obsession started when I won a travelling scholarship in my 20’s, since then I have travelled as often as possible. I now live part of every year working in my Paris apartment with my partner Bernard Ollis. There is nothing more exciting than wandering through the streets of a foreign city, whether the cultural differences are subtle or dramatic. Newness and difference intensify the experience and can give a deeper understanding of yourself. The painting and drawings are not postcards or reportage, they are about the actual experience of being there - they help to distil the experience. As Susan Sontag says, I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. This exhibition includes work from places such as France, Italy, Antarctica, Cambodia, Mexico, Laos, India and country Australia. Most of the work on paper in this exhibition was made on site.
- Wendy Sharpe 2018

Aarwun Gallery Link Sydney Morning Herald Review
Moran Prize Judges 2017

Doug Moran Portrait Prize 2017 - Judge

Juniper Hall, Paddington, Sydney. 19th Oct to 17th Dec, 2017

Wendy Sharpe was a judge for the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2017. From left to right: Peter Moran, Daniel Thomas, Greta Moran, Wendy Sharpe, Mclean Edwards, and winner of the 2017 Doug Moran Prize Tim Storrier.

Moran Ats Link

Wendy Sharpe pictured here with Curators Dr Sarah Engledow (National Portrait Gallery) and Melissa Harpley (Art Gallery of Western Australia)

Artist Judge of the Black Swan Prize

Art Gallery WA, Perth 1-27th November 2017 - Award night 10th November 2017

Wendy Sharpe was the artist judge of the Black Swan Prize for Portraiture at Art Gallery of Western Australia in Perth. She is pictured here with Curators Dr Sarah Engledow (National Portrait Gallery) and Melissa Harpley (Art Gallery of WA).

(detail )Demoiselles Darlinghurst 2012 Oil on linen 182 x 182cm

Clayton Utz Arts Partnership - Sydney

Clayton Utz - 1 Bligh St, Sydney 18 September 2017 to 24th March 2018

Thirty seven artworks by Wendy Sharpe graced the Sydney offices of Clayton Utz for its inaugural Arts Partnership, Clayton Utz Deputy Chief Executive Partner Bruce Cooper said the new partnership was an innovative concept, offering a unique cultural experience for the firm's clients and people.
The Clayton Utz Art Partnership – aims to support Australian artists and share their talents with a wider audience through regular six-monthly art exhibitions and an Artist-in-Residence program at the firm's 1 Bligh Street premises in Sydney.
Above: (detail) Demoiselles Darlinghurst 2012 Oil on linen 182 x 182cm

The Enraged Musicians overlayed by Sharpe's drawing

The Enraged Musicians

City Recital Hall. Sydney. UNASHAMEDLY ORIGINAL The live collaboration took place Sun 23 Jul 2017

Wendy Sharpe recreated Hogarth’s 'The Enraged Musician' in front of an audience, to the sounds of the Australian Art Quartet. Wendy described the scene depicted (pictured above with Sharpe's drawing overlayed) in William Hogarth’s engraving The Enraged Musician. “We have a man trying to play what looks like a violin, with his hands clasped over his ears in despair because outside there are all these people on the streets, screaming baby, barking dog and he just can’t concentrate because of the racket.


Australia's Classical Music and Arts Magazine Limelight published an article on the event by Angus McPherson.

Limelight article

From Hogarth to Westconnex: Wendy Sharpe tackles contemporary Sydney Sydney Morning Herald by Garry Maddox July 12 2017

SMH article
Evelyn Chapman painting on the Western Front 1919

On the Western Front

Visited by Sharpe. April/May, 2017

The photograph shows Australian artist Evelyn Chapman painting a ruined church at Villers-Bretonneux on the Western Front in 1919. Wendy has been a studying Evelyn Chapman after making a visit to this location.

Video - The Desirable Nude

The Desirable Nude

Video Published: 8th December, 2016

Wendy Sharpe in discussion with curator Justin Paton on the desirable nude.
One type of nude inspires special fascination and anxiety, the nude that expresses desire.
Produced in conjunction with the exhibition NUDE: Art from the Tate collection - The exhibition was held in early in 2017 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

The Witches 160 x 146 Oil on linen

The Witches" MP Craig Kelly prefers Shakespeare without bottom!!

Josh Butler. Associate Editor, The Huffington Post, Oct 14, 2015

Appalling or not - place a vote in The Huffington Post's opinion poll'.


Mathew Knot. Sydney Morning Herald, Oct 14, 2015

Call me a philistinee - The Sydney Morning Herald quotes Sharpe's description of the work.


Richard Watts. Performing Arts Hub, Oct 14, 2015

Liberal MP prefers Shakespeare sans Bottom.


Mathew Knot. The Guardian, Oct 14, 2015

Greens MP Adam Bandt said: "The human body is far from the most offensive thing on show in this building".


Wendy Sharpe - Look Magazine

LOOK magazine - AGNSW

LOOK magazine: November, 2015

Wendy Sharpe formed the subject of a feature in the bi-monthly magazine of The Art Gallery Society of NSW magazine 'LOOK'.

Sharpe in New York

Plenty of projects in 2013

LOOK magazine: November, 2015

Wendy has been working in Paris on a number of things including a project in Quai Saint Michel in a studio on the Seine nearly opposite Notre Dame. It is next to the studio where Matisse lived, there is the same view from the windows. Wendy has several projects underway in Paris including drawing and painting the French burlesque dancers. Wendy has been drawing in New York City (pictured above) and also in Mexico.


Seeking Humanity - Portraits & Stories of Asylum Seekers & Refugees

May 2015 (photo: Wendy and Antionette)

I have drawn portraits of 39 refugees and asylum seekers as a contribution to creating public awareness of the challenges they face and to introduce us to a few of these people.

All of the portraits are in full colour and are drawn in pastel. They are drawn from life in 2-3 hours. I am drawing people:

*Who are living legally in the community while they wait for their applications for protection to be processed.

*Who have recently been granted protection and are starting to rebuild their lives in Australia

*Who Came to Australia in earlier periods and have since made an enormous contribution to Australia.

This is not about politics. It is about our common humanity. I want to show that they are people like us, with the same hopes and dreams. Many of those I have met during this project have fled situations of great danger, whether it is political, cultural or religious.
I cannot even imagine how it would feel to have to leave everything behind. But they have had to leave their family, their home, their culture and their country. They have survived and are now focussed on rebuilding their lives, starting all over again. They have been an incredible inspiration.

Early in 2015 an exhibition was formed in conjunction with the Asylum Seekers Centre in Sydney. Cards accompanying each portrait contained a brief story about why they came here, their hopes and dreams for the future, as well as their personal interests

I did not be receive any commission at all, from the exhibition, I felt it would be wrong to do so. All money raised went to support the Asylum Seekers Centre. The Centre provides personal and practical support to over 1,500 asylum seekers, such as legal advice, accommodation, health care, food and employment assistance. As a grassroots, non-profit organisation, it has to rely on grants, donations and volunteers to undertake its work.
After kicking off in Sydney the exhibition moved to Canberra then Penrith Regional Gallery.
I wanted to attract people who have not been involved with asylum seekers but are concerned or confused about who they are and why they come to Australia.

A video was made during the portrait sittings in which I discuss the concept behind the project as well as the drawing process. This video can be viewed at
A catalogue was also produced, containing the portraits and the individual stories.

I also gave those asylum seekers and refugees who participated a small signed copy of their portrait to as a personal thank you.

One of the most rewarding aspects of the project has been to see the asylum seekers relax while I draw them. They ask me to see them for the people they really are, not a group of people who have been given a label. They say that just for a few hours, it is an escape from the daily stress and worry about their current and future lives.

Links, to videos and further information:
Asylum Seekers Centre time lapse video - Michael Amendolia, editor Matt Feeney (1.5min).


Asylum Seekers Centre web page includes a video.


Article by Stephanie Wood - Sydney Morning Herald Jan 23rd 2015.


Condobolin Argus Doctor May exhibits refugee success.Feb 5th 2015


ABC Radio National visit link to listen or download Sharpe talking about her art (broadcast 9/2/2015)


Wendy Sharpe's Antarctica


Wendy Sharpe was invited onboard the vessel Aurora Australis as a guest of the Australian Antarctic Division. Sharpe's constant painting and sketching over this 6 week trip to repair and preserve the Mawson Huts, resulted in two exhibitions (Sydney and Hobart). The exhibitions were sponsored by Kordia Solutions and the Australian National Maritime Museum. All proceeds from the exhibitions went to the conservation of Mawson's Huts.


Sharpe in Antartica with the Mawson's Huts Foundation. filmed and produced by Nick Roden


A 106 page book of the Antarctic paintings was available at the exhibition (ISBN 978-0-9803515-9-02011).

Book The Studio - Ian Lloyd

Sharpe in the Studio

Book and DVD, June 20, 2007

Wendy Sharpe is featured in the DVD and book STUDIO: Australian Painters on the Nature of Creativity by Ian Lloyd and John Macdonald, will be launched with an exhibition of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra on Friday July 13th 2007. (for further details visit).

Wendy Sharpe & John Bartholemew saving The National Art School

Wendy puts herself in the picture

Sydney. November 2, 2005

Literally in the picture here at the protest in Sydney over threats to the survival of The National Art School. Wendy keeps a keen eye on the future of this important institution that can trace its origins back over 150 years.