Catherine Stewart is a multi-award-winning artist, winning awards including the prestigious MAMA Art Prize in 2016. She is based in rural Victoria and her artworks reveal the infinite splendour of the country. Her recent body of work further delves into this intimate connection by embodying the dynamism of the rural environment, exploring its magnificence landscapes, native flora and birds. They are strikingly fresh as she explores the interplay of pattern and texture, depth and movement with her strong drawing skills and unique interpretation of colour. Stewart stunning rendition of native florals and birds against a dreamlike outback landscape showcases the intensity of her palette and the tenacity of her strokes. Her works are widely sought after in private as well as in the public collection.
It’s been said the fine red dust of the Australian outback never leaves you … I know this to be true. I hold these brittle grains dear wherever I am.
As a child I would sit by the dry, flat sandy plains and watch my mother paint. Base layer. An almighty dust storms. First layer. The havoc left in its wake. Second layer. The song larks in flight. Third layer. Brushstrokes finding the detail. I could see the dedication in her eyes, the sheen of red film on her face, her unbridled enthusiasm. This is where my love of the outback began.
This was a good season. Then came the bad seasons. Drought, destruction, dislocation, – all part of a desert landscape starved of water. Silted sheep skulls and lone leafless trees, lie dormant, yet each time I return, I see the sands shifting to a faint heart beat, a rhythm that transcends our time. Birds open their wings, flowers tilt to the sky, insects resume industry, the movement and colour of desert life captured on canvas.
Strangely my life has mirrored the seasons of the desert. There has been break up, reflection, relocation and a need for community. I now live with my two children in a small rural community in North East Victoria where I paint from my studio full time. In some ways, Wooragee couldn’t be more removed from the desert, in others it shares the same lifeline – the channels connecting the wetlands.
It wasn’t until I was forty that I really discovered the river. It’s been a revelation of late. Like many Victorians, I have felt disconnected, out on my own and find myself gravitating towards lone trees. It’s subconscious and symbolic, that feeling of being isolated but I have been sketching singular trees all the time.
I long to go back there now – to camp and paint by the river. Like the desert, I feel at one with the river. I see myself in those neglected trees – they are often struggling but they are still going.
2023 Bush Euphoria, Solo Exhibition, Thienny Lee Gallery, Sydney NSW
2021 Resurgence, Solo Exhibition, Thienny Lee Gallery, Sydney NSW
2021 Regenerative Visions, Brunswick St Gallery, Brunswick, Victoria
2020 Take 6 for ‘IWD’, Group Exhibition, Thienny Lee Gallery, Sydney NSW
2019 Studio Exhibition, Albury NSW
2019 Group Show, Moree Gallery, Moree NSW
2017 Habitus, Solo Exhibition, MAMA Art Gallery Albury NSW
2015 My Terrain, Corner Store Gallery, Orange NSW
2015 On Your Mark- A Rural Perspective, Gallery 34, Yea, Vic
2015 Paper Trail- A North East Perspective, GIGS Gallery Wodonga Vic
2015 Feels Like Home, Paper Pear Gallery, Wagga Wagga NSW
2014 From Little Things…………, Spiritus Gallery, Yackandandah, VIC
2014 New Works – Catherine Stewart, Moree Gallery NW
2013 Beyond the Line, GIGS Gallery Wodonga VIC
2013 New Works – Catherine Stewart, Paper Pear Gallery, Wagga Wagga NSW
2012 Natural Instincts, Solo Exhibition, Moree Gallery NSW
2011 Rustica, Solo Exhibition, Griffith Regional Art Gallery NSW
2010 Terrain, Navigating New Landscapes, Collaborative Exhibition, Griffith Regional Art Gallery, Shear Outback, Hay
2009 “5×5” Collaborative Exhibition, Griffith Regional Art Gallery
2009 Simple Pleasures, Solo Exhibition, Cottage Gallery Griffith NSW
2019 Highly Commended, Trinity Art Show, Albury NSW
2018 Highly Commended, Trinity Art Show, Albury NSW
2016 Winner MAMA Art Prize, Albury NSW $20,000
2015 Highly Commended, Trinity Art Show Albury NSW
2014 Winner, Open Section, Aspects Art Show, Goondiwindi QLD
2013 Winner, Drawing and Contemporary Sections, Goondiwindi QLD
2012 Winner Drawing/ Contemporary sections Wagga Wagga Art Show, NSW
2012 Winner Drawing, Goondiwindi Art Exhibition QLD
2011 Highly Commended “Exposed” Art Exhibition, Griffith NSW
2011 Winner, Contemporary Section, Wagga Wagga Art Exhibition
2011 Winner, Drawing Section, Wagga Wagga Art Exhibition
2011 Highly Commended, Overall Winner, Wagga Wagga Art Exhibition
2010 Winner Exposed Art Exhibition Figure Drawing, Griffith NSW
2010 Highly Commended (Works on Paper) Corowa Art Exhibition
2010 Winner “Drawing” and “Contemporary” sections Mildura Art Show
1995 BA (Visual Arts), Charles Sturt University.
2000 Diploma of Education (Teaching), Charles Sturt University.
Public Collection in Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA)
Private Collections in Australia and overseas including Portugal, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, UK and the US.