News to Date

For a quick overview of upcoming events:
See 'Diary Dates' on this page

Resilience Funding


Australia Council 2020 Resilience grant - Survive.

Australia Council 2020 Resilience grant - Create.


Australian Government and Australia Council Logos


Wendy Sharpe is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.


Magda Szubanski - Comedy and Tragedy. 2020, Oil on Linen 182 x 145cm


Magda Szubanski - Comedy and Tragedy, 2020, Oil on Linen, 182 x 145cm.


Wendy Sharpe - Archibald Finalist 2020

The Archibald Prize 2020 exhibition is currently touring:
January 2021 – 7 March 2021 Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre
19 March 2021 – 2 May 2021 Cairns Art Gallery
14 May 2021 – 27 June 2021 Griffith Regional Art Gallery
9 July 2021 – 22 August 2021 Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery
3 September 2021 – 17 October 2021 Shoalhaven Regional Gallery
29 October 2021 – 9 January 2022 Penrith Regional Gallery, Home of the Lewers Bequest

“I have always admired Magda Szubanski, her humour, intelligence, activism and compassion. I loved her autobiography Reckoning. I am never interested in simply painting a likeness and thought it would be a cliché to paint her as her comic character/Alter Ego, Sharon Strzelecki.

After an intense conversation with Magda in my Sydney studio, Magda told me of her favourite painting by 19th century Polish artist, Jan Matejko of a famous 16th century court jester. He sits looking devastated having just received terrible news about the war raging at the time, yet he still has to go on and perform as though nothing has happened. I realised I would paint Magda as Sharon, but show her haunted by her fathers traumatic experiences WW2 in the Polish resistance and current world events. The flaming buildings are like a back drop. Intentionally unclear if they are real or imagined, they also represent all Magda’s recent work raising money for bush fire victims, her work for human rights and many important other causes.

Early in 2020 before travel restrictions, I flew to Melbourne to see Magda. She posed for me in her house in full costume (including wig!) and perfectly took the poignant frozen expression I had in mind."



Magda Szubanski is one of Australia’s most loved and respected actors, writers and activists. In 2017 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to the performing arts and as a campaigner for marriage equality. In addition to her acting work, in October 2015, Magda released her hugely successful first book Reckoning, which has won several major awards including the 2016 ABIA Book of the Year. In 2017 Magda became the unofficial public face of the Marriage Equality debate. In 2018 she was the recipient of the nation’s top free speech honour, the Voltaire Award, given by Australia’s oldest human rights organization, Liberty Victoria. Over the years Magda has campaigned for several charities including Very Special Kids, Starlight Foundation, Oxfam and Royal Children’s Hospital. In 2019 she was made a member for the Advisory Board of the Australian Institute of Human Rights at UNSW.



In the following link to a video short (1min 30sec). Archibald winner and 7 times finalist, Wendy, talks about her approach to painting Magda Szubanski.






Self Portait with Three Ghosts 2020 oil on canvas 154x122cm


Self Portait with Three Ghosts, 2020, Oil on Canvas, 154 x 122cm.


Self Portait with Three Ghosts 2020 oil on canvas 154x122cm


Powerful murals form an integral part of the exhibition.


Wendy Sharpe: Ghosts

Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney. Exhibition ran from Wed 16 Dec 2020 to Sun 7 Mar 2021 (now concluded)

"Whether one likes Wendy’s work or not it would be hard not to admire her energy and commitment. No matter how big the challenge, she’s up for it, painting murals on the walls, clustering hundreds of small works on paper, creating an installation out of painted lampshades… If you’re going to be an artist you have to love what you do, even to the point of obsession."

John McDonald - Sydney Morning Herald 30 January 2021

In this new exhibition Wendy has created a series of major new site specific ephemeral mural paintings specifically designed for the exhibition spaces within the Mosman Art Gallery. The ephemeral mural works are accompanied by oil paintings and works on paper from Sharpe’s studio based practice that explore the intersection between the real and the imagined worlds - the seen and unseen - and our human experiences of the spirit world.

The phenomena of the unseen worlds of spirits and ancestry, along with the dialogue between perception and experience, the eye and the brain, are subjects that have long fascinated Wendy Sharpe. The exhibition title Ghosts also has a personal connection to Sharpe’s own ancestry with her Russian-Jewish family background. Sharpe’s maternal grandmother Bessie Fishman and her great aunt Ann Fishman were both psychic and were followers of Madam Blavatsky (1831- 1891), a Russian occultist, philosopher and author. Ann Fishman in particular became a well-known psychic and medium in her day, who gave public readings and performances in Russia and the UK.

Sharpe references this family history as well as Victorian ‘ghost’ photographs from the late 19th century, where double exposure imagery created portraits that also captured a lurking spirit within them. Sharpe uses such images as a basis to explore the cultivated beliefs that lie within us, beliefs formed through our ancestral lines, or beliefs generated by the public discourse of our times as well as those inexplicable beliefs about the spirit world that are innate and intuitive to ourselves.

While Wendy Sharpe is known to many as a painter of large scale portraits, in this exhibition Sharpe employs a range of scales from large mural works through to oil paintings as well as miniature works that depict people, both real and imagined, images of spirits, ghosts, memories of people, imaginary friends, alternate lives, alter egos or hallucinatory forms.

The exhibition included a performative element with viewers being invited to witness the artist’s creative processes on site as the murals were made, opening up opportunities to create discussion with people of different cultural backgrounds to share with their own cultural practices, beliefs, customs as well as stories from the community.





Wendy talked psychics, pandemic dreams and about her painting of Sharon Strzeleck on ABC TV's 'The Mix'. The episode was published on ABC's iview (21/11/2020) and can be viewed via this link


Womens Empowerment Mural, Newtown


Women's Empowerment Mural

Corner of Church St and Federation Rd, Newtown, Sydney Painted over 10 days in August 2020, the mural forms part of Sydney’s Inner West Council’s Perfect Match program

As a local resident, Wendy loves that a significant piece of her vast art collection is situated adjacent to a public space so close to where she lives.

The mural features Aunty Jenny Thomsen, Aboriginal elder and activist as well as an array of other stunning images including a thought-provoking quote by Audre Lorde, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”

Wendy’s mural portrays women of all ages and ethnicities. She hopes that “women will see themselves in the images, triggering memories from their own lives, their own stories.”


Extract from an article by about the mural by Elise Hawthorne. To read more click the link below.




How Wendy Sharpe created the 100th Perfect Match contemporary street art mural - Courtesy of Nick Langley - Inner West Council, Sydney





Self portrait – walking home 145x 170cms oil on linen 2020


Self portrait – walking home 145x 170cms oil on linen 2020.


The Portia Geach Memorial Award 2020

S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, Sydney 14 August - 20 September 2020, 11am to 5pm Tue to Sun

Wendy's self portrait Walking Home has been selected for The Portia Geach Memorial Award finalist exhibition. Wendy was thrilled to be part of what is Australia’s most prestigious art prize for portraiture by women artists.


Dr Maryanne Coutts and Wendy Sharpe


Wendy Sharpe was also a finalist in The Kilgour Prize 2016 (above).


The Kilgour Prize 2020

Newcastle Art Gallery 1 August - 15 November 2020

The Kilgour Prize encourages innovation within portrait and figurative painting. The name of the artist is not revealed to the judges during the selection process for the finalists for exhibition, or for the winner of the prize - making the Kilgour Prize truly equitable prize.

Wendy was delighted to be among the finalists.




Dr Maryanne Coutts and Wendy Sharpe


Dr Maryanne Coutts (left) and Wendy Sharpe joined Rove McManus live on SBS tv.



Life Drawing Live

Premiered on Saturday 4 July 2020 now on SBS ON DEMAND - Documentary

Wendy was teaching and talking about Life Drawing with Dr Maryanne Coutts , Head of Drawing at the National Art School in Sydney". Wendy and Maryanne joined host Rove McManus for a two-hour TV live event 4 July 2020 on SBS. Participants in the studio completed a series of life drawing exercises before attempting to capture a challenging final scene. For those who wished to draw along at home, SBS provided a 'pose camera' streaming the life models live.

The pose camera stream is no longer operative but the show can be viewed on SBS ON DEMAND - Documentary (for full information follow the 'Life Drawing Live' link below)







Dreams in Dark Times

02 May 2020


Wendy Sharpe has been awarded a Copyright Agency Action Fund for Visual Arts Projects. the Project is called "Dreams in Dark Times". Above are a few images from Wendys artist folding book, Corona Diary - featured on Channel 9 TV news 4th May 2020.


The Cultural Fund is the philanthropic arm of the Copyright Agency, which connects users and creators of content by providing copyright licences for text and imagery. Our members commit approximately $2m of copyright revenue every year for vital grants to enhance the profile of Australian creators and to support our dynamic writing, publishing and visual arts sectors.

Detail<em>Hamlin patients and garden</em>Folding Book by Wendy Sharpe

Celebrating Women

Sydney CBD 28 Feb to 13 March, Open daily, 11am – 6pm. Open to public, FREE entry. Macquarie’s Space Gallery, 1 Shelley Street, Sydney, (Enter via Erskine Street)


Join Wendy this International Women’s Day in celebrating the women of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, through the paintings and drawings. This exhibition is a unique opportunity to experience Wendy's artworks while connecting with the stories of some of the most marginalised women in the world – obstetric fistula survivors.


Sharpe drawing at hamlin fistula in ethiopia


The Hamlin Art Exhibition features over 30 works from Wendy’s recent trip to Ethiopia, where she witnessed firsthand the life-changing work of Dr Catherine Hamlin (pictured below) and her team to restore the health and dignity of fistula sufferers.


Catherine Hamlin with Wendy Sharpe


The Hamlin Art Exhibition will run for two weeks at Macquarie’s Space Gallery in Sydney CBD (details above). 100% of proceeds from artwork sales support Catherine Hamlin Fistula Foundation.



To learn more about this intimate Sydney exhibition visit the exhibition link below.




View or buy artworks online. There are four auction items (auction closes March 13, 2020). Everything else is for purchase at a fixed price.




Megan Wilding as Blackie Brown The Traditional Owner of Death


Darling Portrait Prize: Finalist

National Portrait Gallery, Canberra until 27th September 2020

Wendy is delighted that her portrait of actress Megan Wilding, in her role as Blackie Brown The Traditional Owner of Death, has been selected as a finalist for the 2020 Darling Portrait Prize.