The multidisciplinary practice of Sydney-based artist Michelle Cawthorn is preoccupied with how memory informs art-making and the subtle yet enduring influence that memories exert on our everyday. Working across drawing, collage, sculpture and installation, Cawthorn explores the interplay of triggers; those sensorial artefacts of our waking life, that free-associate upon recall. Her works probe the paradoxes inherent in the act of recollecting and represent juxtapositions of memory that are suggestive rather than prescribed.
Cawthorn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours (Class 1) and a Master of Fine Arts (Research) from the University of New South Wales and is currently undertaking a PhD. She has been a finalist in a number of significant national and international awards including the prestigious Sulman Prize (2017) at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize (2015) and the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award (2013, 2015 and 2017) for which she received the Friends of Hazelhurst Local Artist Award in 2013 and again in 2017.
In 2012 she was the recipient of an Australian Post Graduate Award to undertake research in Sculpture, Performance and Installation and in 2016 was the recipient of an Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship for study towards her PhD.
Cawthorn’s work is held in public and private collections nationally and the UK.