Catherine O'Donnell

(b. 1961. Quirindi, NSW, Australia)

In late 2015, Catherine O’Donnell joined the Gallery as a represented artist after graduating with a Masters of Fine Arts from the National Art School (2014). In 2017 O’Donnell completed the Terrence and Lynette Fern Cité Internationale des Arts Residency Fellowship where she studied the architecture of social housing projects in Paris and London, which is both an academic and personal interest for O’Donnell, as she grew up in an estate building in Sydney’s western suburbs. Her residency at the Cité has informed her 2018 body of work Urban Abstraction, which visualises a number of housing estates across Paris built in the mid-20th century. Her practice continues to develop with a recent residency at the Grafton Regional Art Gallery in 2019, following her Grace Cossington Smith Art Award in 2018 with her drawing Yates Court and her work 2168; Estate of Tomorrow, which was selected to extend across an entire wall in a solo exhibition at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. 2017 saw her undergo a residency with Bundanon Trust to develop drawings that toured multiple regional locations in the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award. 2016 began with O’Donnell’s exhibition A Notion of Home on view at Murray Art Museum Albury, and also saw her artworks at Newcastle Art Gallery and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery for Just Draw, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery in Windsor, Fairfield City Museum and Gallery, and at the Art Gallery of New South Wales as one of six artists selected for the second edition of the Dobell Australian Drawing Biennial.

O'Donnell has exhibited in a solo capacity extensively across New South Wales at: Wallspace Gallery, Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta, Blacktown Art Centre, Murray Art Museum Albury, Penrith Regional Gallery, Flinders Street Gallery, Boutwell Draper Gallery, Grafton Regional Gallery, the National Art School and Carriageworks in Sydney. O’Donnell has also had an individual show at the Pataka Museum in New Zealand as a part of the NZ International Arts Festival. Within these exhibitions, O’Donnell has presented refined bodies of works that explore human relationships with varying environments through precision and omission. In her renderings of Australian housing estates, O’Donnell highlights their function as homes, as well as their modernist forms, lines and shapes. These drawings enhance and distort architectural elements, as to reveal their origins as simultaneously altruistic, beautiful, impractical and cold.

A number of galleries and organisations have collected O'Donnell's work, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Parliament House Art Collection, Artbank, Penrith Regional Gallery, Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award Collection, Grafton Regional Gallery, Murray Art Museum Albury, Kedumba Collection of Contemporary Drawings, Pataka Museum in Porirua in New Zealand, Blacktown City Council, Mosman Art Gallery and many private collections. O'Donnell also has two major works in the collection of Murray Art Museum Albury, acquired after she won the 2009 Albury Art Prize, enabling her to travel to Venice, Italy and complete a residency at the Scuola International di Grafica, where she developed the series Venetian Visions (2011). O’Donnell has also completed residencies at the British School at Rome, Bundanon Trust, Penrith Regional Art Gallery, Bilpin international ground for creative initiatives and Parramatta Artist Studios.