PhD Fine Arts (UNSW), MFA (UNSW), BFA Hons (UNSW), BArtED (UNSW)
Michelle Cawthorn is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice is grounded in drawing and intersects with painting, sculpture and installation. Her work intertwines autobiography and fiction and is informed by an autoethnographic approach to artmaking which engages with memory as an agent of creativity in studio-based practice.
Cawthorn has exhibited in a wide range of contexts throughout her career including by selection (prizes and awards), by curation, and by invitation. She has staged 12 solo exhibitions and participated in over 60 national joint and group exhibitions since 2003. She has exhibited her work in public galleries and museums, including her 2015 solo exhibition Bittersweet at Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre and recently Songbird at Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, NSW in 2021. Other curated group exhibitions include Jamberoo Mountain Road, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery (2018) and Imagine, Gippsland Art Gallery (2018).
Michelle Cawthorn is represented by OLSEN Gallery, Sydney.
Cawthorn has been the recipient of competitive domestic grants including NSW Artist's Grant (NAVA) and a Bundanon Trust Artist in Residence Fellowship. She has also received an Australian Postgraduate Award and an Australian Government Training Research Program Scholarship.
Cawthorn has been a finalist in a range of national prizes since 2008 including, the Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award (2017, 2015, 2013), the Splash McClelland Contemporary Watercolour Award (2021, 2018), the Ravenswood Australian Women's Art Prize (2021, 2020, 2019, 2017) and the Fishers Ghost Art Award, one of Australia's longest continuous art prizes (2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2014).
She has twice been winner of the Hazelhurst Art on Paper, Friends of Hazelhurst Local Artist Award (2017 and 2013) and twice received Highly Commended in the Tim Olsen Drawing Prize (2018 and 2014), the premier prize for drawing at UNSW Art & Design. In 2017 she was a finalist in the prestigious Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of NSW.
She has been commissioned to make works for Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and her artwork is held in a number of public Australian collections including ARTBANK.