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
In 2017 Wendy Sharpe was part of a group of leading Australian artists visited the WW1 battlefields of France and Belgium. Although a century ago devastation and tragedy is still present.
Exhibition produced in partnership with King Street Gallery . Centenary of ANZAC.SALIENT LINK NERAM LINK
A solo exhibition/installation works on paper and wall drawing at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, NSW.
Above: Me and the Skeleton (detail), 2015, gouache with oil wax pastel, 76cm x 57cm
In an interview for ABC Radio National 'Behind the curtain with painter Wendy Sharpe' Wendy reveals more on the real lives of some of Australia's circus and burlesque performers. (Above: Dressing Room - Circus 120 x 240cm Oil on Linen) Listen or download via the following link.ABC LINK
Wendy Sharpe is excited to be among only a handful of artists to date to be given exclusive back-of-house access to the 107 year-old Mitchell Building, which has not undergone any major work since 1964.
“The State Library has always been a place close to my heart,” said Wendy. “I used to come here with my father historian Alan Sharpe while he was researching various historic texts and photographs. I have also spent time here researching the endlessly fascinating collection for various projects,” Wendy said.
She plans to draw and paint – mostly in gouache (opaque watercolour) – a range of subjects and views from the rooftop right down to the floors below street level, depicting the major changes that are taking place.