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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Wendy Sharpe in her studio, 2007

Mark Tedeschi

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 59.2 cm x 42.0 cm, image: 53.7 cm x 35.5 cm)

Wendy Sharpe undertook art studies in Sydney between 1978 and 1984 and held her first solo exhibition at the Nicholson Street Gallery in 1985. Ten years later, having exhibited at various venues, she had her first solo exhibition with King Street Gallery, where she has shown ever since. To date, she has held 57 solo shows. She won the Sulman Prize in 1986, and the same year was awarded a residency at the Cité, Paris; in 1989 she won the Mercedes Benz Scholarship to travel to the Middle East and Italy. Between 1990 and 1999 she won the Waverley Art Prize, the Robert Le Gay Brereton Drawing Prize, the Portia Geach Prize, the Kedumba Drawing Prize, the Bathurst Art Prize and the Archibald Prize; she won the Portia Geach Prize again in 2003 and gained another residency at the Cité in 2006. Meanwhile, in 1998-1999 the City of Sydney commissioned her to paint eight enormous murals for at the Olympic Pool at the Cook and Phillip Aquatic Centre and the Australian War Memorial appointed her as an Official Artist attached to the Australian Army History Unit in Dili, East Timor. Her more recent residencies and associations have included one at Taronga Zoo in 2011, one in Antarctica in 2012, one with Circus Oz in 2015-2016 and one at the State Library of New South Wales in 2018. Renowned for her richly-coloured, carnivalesque and variously-perspectived works, she is particularly interested in the curvaceous, voluptuous forms of dancers, acrobats, drag artists and burlesque performers and the effects of stage, street and domestic lighting. The book Wendy Sharpe was published in 2011 to coincide with the artist's retrospective exhibition, Wendy Sharpe: The imagined life at the SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney.With more than 1500 dedicated Facebook followers, Sharpe divides her years between Sydney and Paris, where she has homes and studios.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011
© Mark Tedeschi

Accession number: 2011.85

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Mark Tedeschi (age 55 in 2007)

Wendy Sharpe (age 47 in 2007)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.