Catherine Cassidy is currently exhibiting her paintings at Progress Gallery, Paris, France. She was invited by the French painter Claire Colin-Collin to exhibit work highlighting “the intuitive response in painting”.
“Catherine Cassidy has a great audacity with colour and mark, both tough and delicious. We can see the joy of the hand, the deliberation of erasure: she is never afraid, not afraid of mistakes or prettiness, nor of awkwardness or of being child-like.”- Claire Colin- Collin November 2017
Catherine was also one of fifty artists selected worldwide by Art Platform New York City for promotion both by exhibition and in print at Art Basel Miami in December 2016 and also at New York Art Expo in April 2017.
Educated at Melbourne’s RMIT and the National Art School Sydney, Catherine Cassidy holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting (2011). She has lived and travelled in the UK, Spain, Europe, Los Angeles , New York and Japan. The artist’s work is represented in state and national awards and acquisitions. Catherine investigates the emotive power of colour and mark to re-present elemental, natural forces. This exploration takes her to many diverse and remote areas, including California’s Mojave Desert and Australia’s central deserts and arid regions. “I can never be sure that any of what I see out there in these places is real. So much of it is ephemeral and ruinous and weird. It is forming and re-forming all the time. The ravages of time are so visible and the uncertainty of form works well for abstraction. It seems you only have to sit and look and you’re half-way there. Painting is one way of holding it still long enough to find out what makes it tick.
miao miao – Catherine Cassidy, October 2017
I enjoy paint. The material stuff of it and how it is both biddable and defiant.
Endlessly pushing it around on the end of a stick, it always surprises and enchants me.
It helps me to engineer events and mistakes and catapults me away into new territory, away from what I already know or recognise.
This series ‘miao miao’, focuses on the use of gold paint.
Within the history of painting, this pigment has a long and precious status associated with the making of religious icons. It has always been more than just a colour. I like the idea that I can now throw it around with hedonistic abandon like any other paint but that these landscape works, while new kids on the block, also carry some of this old, iconic memory.
The title of the show comes from the Chinese word ‘miao’, loosely translating as ‘natural/wonderful’ and it neatly sums up how I feel about the natural world and painting itself.
‘underneath a plain thing’ Solo Exhibition at Art2Muse Gallery October 2015
This new body of work is a slight departure from my work of last year. It marks the beginning of an investigation into abstraction based less on plein-air work out in the field and more about memory and mark.
The landscape is an inescapable presence in all my work. For me it is the foundation of all form. However, I still love the idea of making worlds and things of my own devising and so these works have become an amalgam, a synthesis of what I see outside and what I see inside my head.
It doesn’t take much to trigger a new form or idea- maybe a fleeting glance down into a river valley, out the car window or perhaps just a remembered sheet of water on the sand at low tide.
So now I find myself in a whole new place where I can play with form and paint and recall. I can tell as many beautiful lies as I like and they can all come true on a canvas. The origin of the title of this exhibition is now lost to me. I have had it stuck up on my studio wall for a long time. The whole phrase is, ‘underneath a plain thing the green grows brightly’.
I’m not even sure what it means but it strikes a chord with me as I spend quite a bit of time in wild places where I see many plain and ordinary things from clouds to rivers to trees. The simplest and plainest things seem, to me, to be most loaded with meaning and magic. That may be just a shadow or a wedge of light between trees.
As far as my painting goes, this is where I look to find the simple strong forms of the world that I rely on. They hold a magic and a whole other realm of possibility within and beneath them just for the looking.
Read Catherine Cassidy’s Artist Talk
Born: Ballarat, Victoria
RMIT – Graphic Design Melbourne
St. George Art College
2010 Master of Fine Art in Painting from The National Art School Sydney
Recent Solo Exhibitions
2017 Art2Muse Gallery ‘miao miao’
2016 Crawford Gallery Sydney ‘DeepField’
2015 Art2Muse Gallery Sydney ‘Underneath a Plain Thing’
2014 Art2Muse Gallery Sydney ‘SUPERNatural’
2014 Chapter House Lane Gallery Melbourne ‘Calling’
Earlier solo shows include Ann Snell Gallery Sydney, National Art School Project Space, 2006/2007 Sara Roney Gallery Sydney ‘Paintings from Lake Mungo’, ‘South Coast Paintings’ and ‘Finke River Series’ and ArtSydney Independent Artists Showcase ‘New Paintings’.
2017 Paddington Art Prize for Landscape Sydney
2017 Despard Gallery Hobart ‘At Bull Bay’ Bruny Island Residency Artists
2016 Paddington Art Prize for Landscape Sydney
2015 Paddington Art Prize for Landscape Sydney
2015 Galeria Guillia ‘The Kangaroos Visit’ Rome
2015 ‘Art and the Land’ Kogarah Cultural Centre
2015 Kogarah Art Prize at Kogarah Cultural Centre
2014 National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
2014 Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery
2013 Low Relief, Damien Minton Gallery Sydney
2013 Depot 2, Danks Street Sydney Story Factory
2012 Mosman Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery
Earlier group shows include Mary Place Gallery (Lake Eyre and Beyond), 2010 Paddington Art Prize, Australian Contemporary Artists Ann Snell Gallery Sydney, 2010/2009 NSW Parliament House Plein-Air Painting Prize, 2001/2005/2007 Hazelhurst Regional Gallery Mungo: Interpreting Land, 2000/2004/2006 Portia Geach Portrait Award S.H.Ervin Gallery Sydney and the Art Gallery of New South Wales Dobell Drawing Prize
2017 Paddington Art Prize Finalist and Winner of the Sofala Cottage Prize Residency
2016 Paddington Art Prize Finalist
2015 Paddington Art Prize Finalist and Winner of the Sofala Cottage Prize Residency
2015 Kogarah Art Prize Finalist
2014 Mosman Art Prize Finalist
2014 Permanent Collection of Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery from National Works on Paper
2014/2016 Collection of Westfield
2012 Mosman Art Prize Finalist