Michelle Cawthorn (b. 1970, Sydney, Australia) is an artist preoccupied with memory and its mutability, the way that it can be both intimately familiar and yet, a stranger to us in the same moment. Working across drawing, collage, painting, sculpture and installation, her practice explores the tensions that exist between remembering and forgetting, and she draws on personal experience to inform her works. The repetitive mark-making that characterises her drawing, engenders intuitive processes, resulting in works the are suggestive rather than prescribed.
During her career Cawthorn has exhibited widely in Australia, including by invitation at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre in 2015 for her solo exhibition Bittersweet. Other recent exhibitions include Jamberoo Mountain Road, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery (2018), the Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing (2018), Imagine, Gippsland Art Gallery (2018), the Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize (2017, 2019), Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award (2013, 2015, 2017), This is Not a Solo Show, Verge Gallery (2016) and the Fisher’s Ghost Art Award (2014, 2017, 2018).
Cawthorn has twice been winner of the Hazelhurst Art on Paper, Friends of Hazelhurst Local Artist Award (2013 and 2017) and twice received Highly Commended in the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize (2014 and 2018). In 2017 she was a finalist in the prestigious Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW. She holds a BFA (Hons Class 1), an MFA and is currently working on a PhD. Her work is held in the collections of ARTBANK, Gippsland Art Gallery, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery and private collections nationally and in the UK.
Michelle Cawthorn is represented by OLSEN Gallery, Sydney.