"The artist must deny everything, that’s their job"
-George Baselitz


Catherine Cassidy

I’m looking for something unknown yet familiar, resonators and signifiers of landscape. I like taking one particular form and investing it with qualities that may seem to belong to something else.

For instance, trees that resemble clouds or organic forms that could be plants or yet again something heraldic as though they are invested with some changeling quality. I like bringing them into being and charging them with the possibility that they could be changelings that lead ambiguous lives.

I dance all the time between these states of wholeness and fracture, re-assembling and invention. I may start with the intention of the image of a tree  but along the way the painting could suggest that it becomes a sky or some piece of dried-up river pond I saw ages ago. All things feel related to me.

Sometimes in character, always in their inner life. A tree has an inner life peculiar to it, so does a cycad. Yet there is another presence within living and inanimate things which they all share.

This is at the heart of the Japanese concept of ‘mono no aware’, ...translated as, ‘ the pathos of things’, an empathy towards things, a sensitivitity to ephemera.

Bill Henson in his essay ‘Credo’ ( The Monthly 2009), asks, ‘How can there be so much compassion and so much detachment in great art?....’ where the rocks and flowers of the world, though they are beyond the tide of emotion, nonetheless have being.’


Running alongside this is a general feeling of contrariness. I’m not sure as artists that we have necessarily been served very well by the logic of sight that has guided the western art response since the Greeks invented it. The invention of perspective - foreground, middle ground, background, the elevation of plein-air observation and description, the emphasis on drawing skills and learnt  technique. These things are quantifiable and can therefore be taught and I think they have over-ridden our inherent, intuitive, connective, natural response to image-making..

To me, all these things corrupt and distort what painting really asked us for all along -  to respect its own logic. The inherent logic in the developing work is nothing to do with us, it comes from the work itself as it is being made. 

George Baselitz stated recently, ‘The artist must deny everything, that’s their job.’



Selected Recent Solo Exhibitions:

2020  Clouds and Stones and Stars  Michael Reid Gallery Murrurundi

2020  Going Down South  WorkLife Organisation Kiama

2019  Little Big World  AK Bellinger Gallery @project90gallery Sydney

2019  Plastique  Dungog Contemporary Dungog

2017  Miao Miao  Art2Muse Gallery Sydney

2016  SuperNatural  Art2Muse Gallery Sydney

2016 Deep Field Crawford Gallery Sydney

2015  Underneath a Plain Thing  Art2Muse Gallery Sydney

2014  Calling  Chapter House Gallery Melbourne

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2019  Modern Love  AK Bellinger Gallery Inverell

2017  New Works  Catherine Cassidy and Louise Tuckwell  Walcha Gallery Walcha

2017 Subito Presto2 Progress Gallery Paris

2017  At Bull Bay  Bruny Island Residency Artists  Despard Gallery Hobart

2015  The Kangaroos Visit   Galeria Giulia Rome

Selected Finalist Art Prizes:

2018/17/16/15/10   Paddington Art Prize for Landscape   Sydney

2015/14/   Art and The Land  Kogarah Art Prize   Kogarah Cultural Centre

2014  National Works on Paper Award   Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery Victoria

2014/12  Mosman Art Prize  Mosman Art Gallery

2010/09  NSW Parliament House Plein-Air Painting Prize   Parliament House Sydney

2007/06/05/01 Southern Exposure    Hazelhurst Regional Gallery Gymea

2006/04/00 Portia Geach Portrait Award   S.H.Ervin Gallery Sydney

1999  Dobell Drawing Prize   Art Gallery of New South Wales

Awards, Acquisitions:

2017/16  The Artist Retreat Prize  Paddington Art Prize

2014  NWOP Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery Permanent Collection