Wendy Sharpe

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Wendy Sharpe
Born 1960
Nationality Australian
Known for artist
Awards Sulman Prize, Archibald Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award
Website http://www.wendysharpe.com/

Wendy Sharpe (born 1960 in Sydney) is an Australian who lives and works in Sydney and Paris. She is the winner of numerous awards including the Archibald Prize, the Sulman Prize, the Portia Geach Memorial Prize and The Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize. She was commissioned by the Australian War Memorial as an official Australian War Artist in East Timor in 1999-2000 (the First woman since World War II).

Residencies and Commissions[edit]

Wendy Sharpe travels extensively and has been awarded many residencies and commissions overseas. Notable examples include as special guest of the Australian Ambassador to Egypt, as resident artist aboard the scientific vessel Aurora Australis in 2012 to commemorate the centenary voyage of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson to Antarctica with Mawson’s Hut Foundation (and again in 2014),[1] Obracadobra artist residency in Oaxaca, Mexico (2014) and artist residency at Funxing-Ginger Art Space, Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu, China in 2015. Sharpe has a great passion for the performing arts, and has created many works on this theme through residencies with the Australian Ballet (at the Arts Centre Victoria, 2008-9) and with Circus Oz in Melbourne and Sydney (2015-2016). In 1998 she was commissioned by the City of Sydney to create public art installation: a series of eight paintings based on the life of Australian swimmer and movie star Annette Kellerman. These paintings are permanently displayed in the Cook+Phillip Aquatic Centre, Sydney.

In 1998 she was commissioned by the City of Sydney to create public art installation: a series of eight paintings based on the life of Australian swimmer and movie star Annette Kellerman. These paintings are permanently displayed in the Cook+Phillip Aquatic Centre, Sydney.

Wendy Sharpe has held over 45 solo exhibitions in Australia and internationally, both in commercial galleries and public institutions. A major retrospective of her work was organised in 2012 by S. H. Ervin Gallery, The National Trust, Sydney. She is currently represented by King St Gallery on William (Sydney), Philip Bacon Galleries (Brisbane), Linton & Kay (Perth) and Michael Reid Gallery (Berlin).


  • Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • Arts Centre, Victoria
  • Adelaide Perry Collection
  • Australian War Memorial, Canberra
  • Australian Embassy, Paris, France
  • Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
  • BHP Australia
  • Blue Mountains City Art Gallery
  • City of Belmont, Perth
  • Western Australia
  • City of Sydney Council
  • Grafton Regional Gallery
  • Hawkesbury Regional Gallery
  • Kedumba Drawing Collection
  • Manly Regional Gallery
  • Manning Regional Gallery
  • Orange Regional Gallery
  • Qantas
  • Tweed River Art Gallery
  • University of Queensland
  • University of Sydney
  • Warringah Council
  • Waverley Council.


Wendy Sharpe won the Sulman Prize in 1986 with Black Sun - Morning and Night,[2] awarded by Albert Tucker, the Archibald Prize in 1996 with Self Portrait - as Diana of Erskineville,[3] Portia Geach Memorial Award twice in 1995 with "Self Portrait with Students - After Adelaide Labille Guiard" and 2003 with "Self Portrait with Teacup and Burning Paintings", the Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize in 2014 with "Self Portrait with Imaginary Friend", and many more. She has been a finalist many times in the Archibald Prize, the Sulman Prize, the Doug Moran Portrait Prize, The Kedumba Drawing Prize, The Dobell Prize for Drawing, and various other visual arts awards throughout Australia.

She was awarded the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship in 1987 through the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She then completed a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (and again in 2007).

She has been a finalist in the Archibald Prize six times, and the Sulman Prize fourteen times. This includes winning both awards.

Sharpe created in 2014 a series of portraits of asylum seekers in Australia, "Seeking Humanity: Portraits and Stories of Asylum Seekers and Refugees", which became a touring exhibition. In 2015 she became Ambassador for the Asylum Seeker Centre, Sydney.

Official war artist[edit]

In 1999, Sharpe was appointed official war artist during the Australian military role in East Timor, through the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.[4] She was the first female artist to be appointed in this role since the Second World War.

She was a member of the Council of the War Memorial from 2005 to 2013.

Honours and Awards[edit]

  • 2015: Artist in residence, Circus Oz, Melbourne and Sydney
  • 2015: International Artists Residency, Zhouzhuang, China
  • 2014: Obracadobra Residency, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • 2014: Winner Adelaide Perry Drawing Prize awarded by Edmund Capon
  • 2013: ‘Manning Art Prize’, Manning Regional Gallery, Taree
  • 2012: Antarctica Artist Residency Mawson Centenary – Mawson’s Hut Foundation
  • 2011: Taronga Zoo Artist Residency Sydney
  • 2008-09: Commission: The Arts Centre Victoria - The Australian Ballet's Exhibition
  • 2008: Artist Residency Australian Embassy Cairo, Egypt
  • 2006: Awarded tenancy Cite Internationale des Arts Studio, Paris, Art Gallery of NSW
  • 2003: Portia Geach Memorial Prize Award S.H Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 1999: Commissioned as Official Australian War Artist to East Timor, Australian War Memorial ACT (The 1st woman since WW2)
  • 1998-99: Commissioned City of Sydney - Olympic pool murals Cook & Phillip Aquatic Centre
  • 1998: Bathurst Art Prize, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, NSW
  • 1996: Archibald Prize Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
  • 1995: Kedumba Drawing Prize, NSW
  • 1995: The Portia Geach Memorial Prize, SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW
  • 1992: Robert Le Gay Bereton Drawing Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • 1991-92: Australian Post Graduate Research Award
  • 1989: Mercedes Benz Art Scholarship
  • 1986: Awarded tenancy Cite Internationale Studio, Paris Art Gallery of NSW
  • 1986: Marten Bequest, Travelling Art Scholarship (painting)
  • 1986: The Sulman Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, judged by Albert Tucker
  • Finalist, Sulman Prize –Art Gallery of New South Wales – 11 times
  • Finalist, Archibald prize – Art Gallery of New South Wales – 4 times
  • Finalist, Dobell Drawing Prize – Art Gallery of New South Wales – 12 Times


  1. ^ Mark, David. (5 January 2012). "[ An artist in Antartica]". "AM, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 9 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Sir John Sulman Prize winners (1936 - )". Art Gallery of New South Wales. Retrieved 2009-06-22. 
  3. ^ Schmidt, Lucinda (20 September 2006). "Profile:Wendy Sharpe". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  4. ^ Wilkins, Lola. "Wendy Sharpe". Australian War Memorial. Retrieved 23 September 2010.