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
The National Art School Fellowship acknowledges the achievements of eminent visual artists, arts administrators,writers, advocates and academics who have made outstanding contributions to the visual arts community in Australia. The Fellowship is an honorary award for exceptional achievement and / or service within the professional domain, awarded annually by the National Art School.
The 2018 recipients of National Art School Fellowships have been announced, with the honour bestowed upon renowned painters Wendy Sharpe and Michael Johnson.The 2018 Fellows were honoured at a celebratory dinner on Thursday 24 May 2018, held at the National Art School in a gallery space that was once the studio of celebrated Australian sculptor and NAS teacher, Rayner Hoff. Presented at the annual Graduation ceremony alongside completing Bachelor and Master of Fine Art students, the Fellowship is the School’s highest award. Director Steven Alderton says of the Fellows: “In recognising these two prominent alumni, we are recognising their immense contributions to Australian art. Their work and their careers are inspirations to our students.”
"NAS has always been a place for artists – enthusiastic, creative and exciting, where making art is the most important thing. It has always had a wonderful camaraderie between staff and students and an atmosphere of working, and experimenting. The central place of drawing in the curriculum is to be applauded and I hope will never change. NAS helps students to understand the artistic process, setting them up for life – not merely giving them a degree. This is only art school I would study in myself if I was starting out now.'Wendy Sharpe, 2018.NAS LINK
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 BARG LINK
Maria Stoljar interviewed Wendy Sharpe for episode 45 of the 'Talking with Painters' podcast in May 2018. Wendy talks about her work in progress for her show 'Paris Windows' 10am – 6pm Tuesday – Saturday at King Street Gallery on William, 177 William St, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW Australia. T: 61 2 9360 9727
PARIS WINDOWS - Imagined lives
I first visited Paris in 1987 on a traveling art scholarship and artist studio residency at Cite Internationale des Arts. I have stayed there several times since, also in many hotels and apartments. In 2010 my partner Bernard Ollis and I bought an apartment in northern Montmartre, where we live part of every year. We are lucky to have 9-metre-long balcony, wide enough for narrow tables and chairs. We are on the 6th floor /top (with a tiny lift) and have a stunning view of apartments, roofs and chimneys leading up the hill towards Sacré Coeur.
When we first moved in to the apartment I realised how close we were to those around us and wondered what the etiquette was - do you acknowledge the people you see around you every day? I then discovered unspoken ‘pretend privacy’ of the 6th floor. You act as though you see nothing. An odd situation, where you can see glimpses of the intimate world of people you don’t know. Some of the images in this exhibition are based on our neighbours and people I have actually seen though not literally depicted, and some are entirely imagined. The rooms are mysterious, like fragments of unknown plays, sometimes a set waiting for the action to start. The viewer imagines their own narratives all of which are valid. I loved making up characters, décor and scenarios. Like most of us, I am intrigued by other lives, other alternatives. I was a bit worried all this might seem a bit too voyeuristic or creepy, but then really it is fiction.
The paintings relate to Hitchcock’s classic film Rear Window (in french Fenêtre sur Cour) although an American film set in New York, it has a particular resonance in Paris. Central Paris is said to be the most densely populated city in Europe. I looked again at American artist Edwards Hopper’s New York window paintings, and also many German Expressionist artists between the wars - including the wood cuts of Frans Marsereel The City -a Vision, the paintings of Max Beckmann, Conrad Felixmueller, Marianne von Werefrin and others.
We have nick names for many of our actual neighbours, as no doubt they do for us.
“The Writer”- a woman who sits on her balcony every morning in a green dressing gown drinks coffee and writes something non- stop in a thick exercise book. What is she writing?
“The Intellectuals”- a man who actually wears a cravat and is often seen reading in a leather chair next to an overflowing book case.
“The Don Quixote’s” named after the Poster of Picasso’s Don Quixote above the TV that is always on, while young women (students?) lie around on bean bags eating Pizzas - the pizza motor bike delivery across the road is always for them.
“The Smokers” - a couple who always used to come out on the balcony opposite to smoke, now she has quit and is pregnant. Who is that woman with her husband?
I am fascinated by the way you can live so close to people and not know them. Across the road from us we see little bits of ‘drama’ in rooms next to each other. They may have no idea who is just a wall away. It is sometimes hard to know which rooms are part of the same apartment or if they are totally separate, for example our bedroom shares a wall with the next building, we can hear children running and laughing. They are in different buildings with a different entrance. The people opposite would see us and them together but we have no idea who they are.
Wendy Sharpe 2018
Elsewhere will tour Regional NSW visiting Wagga Wagga and Griffith in 2018, Dubbo and Port Macquarie in 2019 and Tamworth in 2020.
Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Edward Said's book 'Orientalism', Wendy Sharpe and Bernard Ollis critically reflect on travel and drawing as creative practices to help us witness and understand each other. Curated by Dr Sam Bowker with the support of Create NSW and Charles Sturt University.
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.