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Lionel Bawden is an Australian artist working in sculpture, performance, installation and painting. Bawden’s core practice exploits hexagonal coloured pencils as a sculptural material, reconfigured and carved into amorphous shapes, mining the material’s rich qualities of colour, geometry and metaphor. Bawden explores themes of flux, transformation and repetition as preconditions to our experience of the physical world, essential to the construction of identity. Bawden’s sculptural works harness landscape as a stand-in for the body, personal themes of desire, longing and interconnection become abstracted in a generative process to create form. Bawden’s recent paintings explore darker psychological states, grounded in an exploration of an ambivalent relationship between figure and landscape. These paintings mark a return to the figure after a sustained fascination with more oblique approaches to articulating aspects of the human condition.



Lionel Bawden (born Sydney, 1974,) completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours in the painting department at The Australian National University, Canberra School of Art in 1997. During 1995 Bawden spent six months at The China National Academy of Fine Art, Hangzhou, China.

Bawden was recipient of the 2009 Art Omi International Artist Residency, New York, USA, (through Art Omi Australia committee) and the 2003 Creative New Zealand residency at Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand, creating the exhibition ‘the spring tune’. In 2005 Bawden shared a 3-month Red Gate Gallery artist residency, Beijing with Sydney artist Nell.

Bawden was the recipient of the 2009 Wynne Prize, through the Art Gallery of NSW and the 2004 ABN Amro emerging Artist Award, Sydney.

Lionel Bawden has exhibited in over 40 group exhibitions including: 'Zhongjian: Midway', a Wollongong City Gallery project at Yuan Center of Art Beijing, China, 2009, I walk the line: new Australian drawing, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, 2009, Beijing International Art Biennale, China, 2008, The Roving Eye, Gigantic Artspace, New York, 2006, Un-Australian, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland, 2005, True Love, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2004, Colour, Queensland Art Gallery, 2003 and The National Sculpture Prize, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2001.

Bawden is represented by GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney and KAREN WOODBURY GALLERY, Melbourne.


LIONEL BAWDEN. Curriculum Vitae

Born: Auburn, NSW, 1974
Lives and works in Sydney, Australia

Solo Exhibitions and Projects
2009 ‘Nonsense’, Neon Parc, Melbourne
2008 ‘New works on paper’, GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney
2006 ‘Dark Matter’, GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney
‘My Body Remembers’, GRANTPIRRIE, Melbourne Art Fair, Melbourne
2004 ‘The Monsters’, GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney
2003 ‘the spring tune’, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand
‘new organisms’, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, New South Wales
2002 ‘‘esque – thoughts brought forth by our fingers’, GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney
2000 ‘Possession – a self-storage unit’, Casula Powerhouse – The Lounge, Sydney
1998 ‘LED’, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Manuka, Canberra
‘Drift’, Caravan, Adelaide
1996–97 ‘Anonymous Paper Men Poster Project’, on the streets of Sydney and Canberra

Selected Group Exhibitions
2010 'Curious Colony- A twenty first century Wunderkammer' Newcastle Region
Art Gallery, NSW.
'SOME THING IN THE AIR- collage and assemblage in Canberra region
art', Canberra Museum and Gallery, A.C.T.
Group show, GRANTPIRRIE Stall, Art Hong Kong 2010, Hong Kong Art Fair
'The Navigators' Karen Woodbury Gallery, Victoria.
2009 'Zhongjian: Midway', Wollongong City Gallery project touring to China, Yuan Centre of Art, Beijing and Art Gallery of Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, Tianjin
‘3D x 5: Contemporary Australian Sculpture’, Bathurst Regional Gallery, Bathurst, New South Wales
‘Walk the Line: New Australian Drawing’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
The Wynne Prize exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2008 Beijing international Art Biennale, various venues, Beijing, China
‘There goes a narwhal’, Queensland University Art Museum (with Nell and Michael Zavros)
2007 ‘Portal’, GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney
2006 ‘Strange Cargo’, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, New South Wales
‘The Roving Eye’, Gigantic Artspace, New York, USA
‘Shelf life’, M.O.P. Projects, Sydney
‘Random Access’, McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park, Victoria
2005 ‘Demolish? Demolish. Demolish!’ Cuo Jia Cun artist village, Beijing, China
‘Un-Australian’, Anna Bibby Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2004 ‘The Year in Art’, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
‘ADRIFT’ (refugee fundraiser), Queensland Centre for Photography
‘Savvy- New Australian Art’, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Brisbane
‘True Love’, Dunedin Public Art Gallery,Dunedin. New Zealand
2003 ‘Acquisitions 2001–2002’, Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle, New South Wales
‘Colour’, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
‘Artbox Inc.’ Sherman Galleries, Sydney
‘the spring tune’, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand
‘Hung, Drawn and Quartered’, Tinsheds Gallery, Sydney
2001 The National Sculpture Prize, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Inaugural exhibition, The National Museum of Erotica, Canberra
1998 Hatched-National Graduate Show, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth

2005 To hold a bowl of water level, ‘Demolish? Demolish. Demolish!’ Suo Jia Cun artist village, Beijing, China
2001 ‘Possession – a self-storage unit’ (Installation and inhabitation), Canberra Contemporary Art Space Cube, Gorman House Arts Centre, Canberra
1997 ‘The Archive and the Everyday’, ACME, Old Parliament House, Canberra
1996-97 Member of ACME performance group 1996–1997, twenty Canberra-based artists exploring simultaneous performance and the performative object
1996 ‘Faust’, ACME (for Splinters Theatre), University House, Australian National University
‘D-Block’, ACME performance, Festival of Contemporary Arts, Gorman House Arts Centre, Canberra

Education, Prizes and Residencies
2009 Art OMI sculpture residency, Omi International Arts Centre, Columbia County, New York State, USA
Winner –The Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
2005 Red Gate Gallery, artist-in-residence program, Beijing, China
2004 recipient of the ABN Amro Emerging Artist Award, Sydney
2003 'Creative New Zealand', artist-in-residence program-
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand (October – November)
1997 BA Hons. (Visual Arts – Painting) Australian National University Institute of the Arts, Canberra School of Art, Canberra
1995–96 Six month exchange student, Oil Painting Workshop,
China National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou Province, China

Artbank, Sydney
Newcastle Region Gallery, New Castle, New South Wales
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
National Gallery of Australia, Education Lending Collection, Canberra
Macquarie Bank Collection, Sydney
Ipswich Art Gallery, Queensland
Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand
Private collections in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and America

Selected Bibliography
2009 Gina Fairley, ‘Lionel Bawden at GRANTPIRRIE Gallery’, World Sculpture News, Vol. 15, No. 1, Winter, p. 58
Christine Murrow, ‘I Walk the Line’, Art Matters, Autumn, pp. 14–17
John McDonald, ‘When losers are winners’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14–15 March, pp. 16–17
Edith Moss, ‘GRANTPIRRIE Continues artist’s winning spree’, Constructing Art Blog, 10 March
2008 Stephen Oxenbury, ‘Speed Art’, Australian Art Collector, Issue 45, July – September 2008
‘Arts Focus’, Vogue Australia, August
2006 Frost, D., ‘Strange Cargo,’ Look, October
Nick Mitzevich, Lisa Slade, Ross Woodrow, Strange Cargo, exh. cat.
Monte Packham, ‘When a line defines a curve’, Issue 11, July, Germany
Ben Genocchio, ‘The Roving Eye’ exh. cat. Gigantic Art Space, New York, 31 May 31 – 27 July
Celebrating 25 years of Australian art, exh. cat., Artbank
Michael Reid, ‘The Art Oracle’, The Sydney Morning Herald, Good Weekend, 11 March
Robert Lindsay, ‘Random Access: a survey of contemporary sculpture’, catalogue essay, Random Access, McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park, Victoria
2005 Dan Chappell, ‘Love thy neighbour’, Art News New Zealand, Winter
Andrew Frost, ’50 of Australia’s most collectable artists’, Australian Art Collector, Issue 31, January – March
2004 Dominique Angeloro, ‘Stationary target’, The Sydney Morning Herald (Metro), 22–28 October
Clare Lewis, ‘The Monsters’, catalogue essay, GRANTPIRRIE, Sydney
Alison Kubler, ‘SAVVY – New Australian Art’, catalogue essay, SAVVY – New Australian Art, Queensland University of Technology Art Museum, Brisbane
2003 Justin Paton, ‘the spring tune’, exh. cat., Lionel Bawden ‘the spring tune’, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand
Leta Keens, ‘Pencil Sharp’, Belle Magazine, April/May *
Bruce James, ‘Project’s flashy parade of stars seeks no quarter’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 12 February
Russell Storer, Artbox Inc., exh. cat. Sherman Galleries
2002 Courtney Kidd, ‘Young Guns’, State of The Arts Magazine, September – November
Louise Martin-Chew, ‘Rebirth of Sculpture in Australia’, Art & Australia, Spring, Volume 40, No. 1
Victoria Hynes, ‘City Slicker’, The Sydney Morning Herald (Metro), July 26
Benjamin Genocchio, ‘Cunning master of close shave’, The Weekend Australian, 20 July
2001 Myra McIntyre, ‘Thought-provoking comment’, The Canberra Times,
11 December
Benjamin Genocchio, ‘Blooming lotus strides ahead’, The Weekend
Australian, 8–9 December
Sasha Grishin, ‘Cindarella of the arts acquires new status’, The Canberra Times, 8 December
Bruce James, ‘When heavy metal carries no weight’, The Sydney
Morning Herald, 5 December
Elena Taylor, ‘National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition’, artonview (NGA magazine), Issue 28
David Meagher, ‘A big return for sculpture’, The Australian Financial Review Magazine, December
In conversation with Mark Bayly, National Sculpture Prize and Exhibition, exh. cat. National Gallery of Australia,
Bruce James, ‘Solidarity fights lonely gallery syndrome’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October
Victoria Hynes, ‘Critic’s Pick – Box’, The Sydney Morning Herald (Metro), October 19
Felicity Loughrey, ‘House of Love, (National Museum of Erotica)’, Black + White, No. 54, August
Andrew Frost, ‘Making Strange’, Australian Style, No. 53, July
‘New Acquisitions’, artbank (newsletter), Issue 5
Lisa Byrne, ‘The Boulevard’, Muse – Canberra’s Arts Newspaper, May
Ron Cerabona, ‘Intriguing Occupation’, The Canberra Times, 23 March
2000 Robert Nelson, ‘A strong showing (2000 in review)’, The Age, 27 December
Paul McInnes, ’Feeling Sexy’, Motel, exh. cat., Canberra Contemporary Arts Space
Kate Murphy, 10 Rooms, Broadsheet, Vol. 29, Issue1
Motel, Kate Murphy, Muse, February
1999 Bruce James, ‘Biding Time’, Australian Art Collector, July – September
‘Gallery 02’, Soup Magazine, Issue 05
1998 Sonia Barron,’ Artist draws audience with seductive pencils’, The Canberra Times, 12 October
Andrew Gaynor, ‘Squeezing the goods’, Realtime, Issue 26, August – September
Jove Winter, ‘Out Loud’, West Side Observer, Issue 174, 3 July 3
Linda Mateljan, ‘HATCHED Co-existence captured’, X-press Magazine, June
Bruce James, ‘Galleries’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 February
1997 Paul Hayes, ‘Bedtime stories’, Capital Q Weekly, Issue 254, 22 August
Shane Breynard, ‘Carving Palaces- emerging artists in Canberra (ACME)’, Artlink, Vol. 17, No. 4
‘The Comforts of Anonymous Paper Men’, Quirk, Vol. 1, No. 7, July
1996 Helen Musa, ‘Burning challenges given live on stage’, The Canberra Times, 11 October
Allanah Maclean, ‘Sending up the world of work’, The Canberra Times, 4 October
1995 Kerry-Anne Cousins, ‘Reviews – Grey areas’, Muse, July