Catherine Cassidy
Catherine Cassidy

Catherine Cassidy is an Australian artist based in Sydney, Australia. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and was educated at RMIT University in Melbourne and the National Art School in Sydney. Her work is represented in private and public collections around Australia. Catherine investigates the emotive power of colour and mark-making to represent elemental and natural forces. This exploration takes her to many diverse and remote areas, including California’s Mojave Desert and central Australia’s deserts and arid regions. Catherine has lived and travelled in the UK, Spain, Europe, Los Angeles, New York and Japan.

“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.” – Catherine Cassidy

Catherine was 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 at New York Art Expo in April 2017. Her paintings were also recently exhibited at Progress Gallery, Paris, France where 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 Cassidy on her miao miao series

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. 

The 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 series 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.



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’.

Recent Group Exhibitions

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

Awards & Acquisitions

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