Sean Rafferty

Sean Rafferty


Born in Galway, Ireland, yet raised in the Sydney sun, contemporary artist Sean Rafferty may sound like he grew up locally, however his quiet examination of nature, objects, artefacts, and history belies a deep connection with his original homeland.  

Since enrolling in an undergraduate Fine Arts degree at UNSW Art & Design in the early 2000s, and following up with a Masters, Sean has progressively developed his thoughtful and searching practice and built an extensive body of work.  

Sean has two main methods of production, one consists of intricately constructed 3D assemblages and installations, often using layers of paper or cardboard to tell a story. Take for example his popular Transit Luggage Series that, through clever construction, conjures entire pop-up cityscapes in old suitcases. More recently he’s upended a riotously colourful selection of Australian fruit boxes to line the walls of the iconic Bondi Pavilion. It is alongside these constructions, in his parallel mode of creative output, that we gain further insight into him as a creative professional and a human being. Sean also makes video documentaries connected to his installations that explore the radical changes that have over time affected and altered the people and places with whom he has a connection. 

Sean Rafferty is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including two studio residencies at Artspace and the Hazelhurst Regional Art Prize. He’s also a member of a team of registrars working at Artbank who are developing a publicly accessible collection of living Australian artists’ work.