Since moving to Hong Kong, Sharyn Wortman has found herself in a deeper discourse about cultural identity and the effects of Colonialism. Her work has been included in recent group shows, at ACO - ‘Moot Point’, Pao Galleries - ‘Twenty/Twenty’ and the Goethe Institute for ‘The Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize’.
With a previous career in advertising, she believes that powerful creative work comes from a strong concept. “Everything I do has to be conceptually sound. The starting point is the idea, the medium follows.” This methodology informs her practice as a fine artist.
Sharyn Wortman was born in 1970 in Melbourne where she completed her BA (Hons) Degree in Visual Communication at Melbourne University. She moved to London where she was nominated in The Observer as one of The Future 500 Rising Stars in 2009. In 2010 she was made a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in London. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the V&A Museum ‘Inspired By’ competition for her entry "Hong Cong." Sharyn Wortman has recently completed a Fine Art Degree, at Hong Kong Art School in conjunction with RMIT Melbourne.
Twenty/Twenty - Pao Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Human Rights Art Prize, Goethe Institute, Hong Kong
MOOT Point, ACO Gallery, Hong Kong
Global Drawing Studio (curated by Greg Creek), RMIT University, Melbourne (2018),
Beyond One Kilo Unit Gallery JCCAC Hong Kong (2018)
Museum for Lost Public Notices - George Paton Gallery, Melbourne University (2017)
V&A Inspired By, Morley Gallery London (2016)
Mr Jerry Kwan Memorial Scholarship
Shortlisted for the Hong Kong Human Rights Arts Prize
Hart Haus Social Studio Grant
RMIT University Vice Chancellor’s List for Academic Excellence in 2019
Shortlisted for the V&A Museum ‘Inspired By’ competition, Morley Gallery, London (2016)
Awarded a fellowship of the Royal Society of the Arts in London. (2010)
Named by The Observer as one of The Future 500 Rising Stars (2009)
"Artworks can communicate a message just as an advertising poster can help us make sustainable choices. But this is very one dimensional. It gets interesting when materiality is taken into account. What is the work made from, why has the artist chosen to use these materials, and with what have they been juxtaposed to create a multilayered form of communication? This becomes more emotive and makes compelling work that’s more difficult to ignore."
"Hiding in Plain Sight"
Plastic, once lauded as a manufacturing miracle for its strength and inability to breakdown has become a sinister material in our environmentally conscious world. Even as a by-product of a recycling process, it’s difficult to accept as a raw material in conscientious art making.
Hiding in Plain Sight is a series of sculptures that reference the Dazzle paint schemes created by Norman Wilkinson to camouflage British ships in World War I. When placed on top of each other, the plastic tiles create dazzling stripes that echo the abstract patterns, once used to thwart German U boat captains by making the ships hard to pinpoint. By arranging the forms in different ways, the 3D shapes make a collection of objects that sit together as a fleet of abstract forms. The original material becomes obscured, hard to pinpoint and thus camouflaged.
"Hiding in Plain Sight"
Recycled Plastic and Bronze
Oil on Linen
150 x 150cm
Mankind is entering a new age. Borders are being redrawn, new invitations extended, others rescinded. Globally we are experiencing a new dawn and the shift is palpable. This kind knowing is normally only afforded to us by the rear view of history. This time however, we are more than aware.
Waterloo Dawn, a semi abstract, landscape painting was informed by many early morning ferry rides on the River Thames. The sky and river are blood red; the sun, rising. The lights on the bridge are yet to be extinguished from the previous evening. The details of Waterloo Bridge are coming into focus, forms that are yet to fully emerge, are still recognisable in scale and shape. Sinister shadows dissolve with the intrusion of the light associated with the new day.