Shannon Smiley

Current State

12 December 2020 – 3 February 2021

Fox Galleries is proud to present Current State; a series of idyllic landscape paintings that explore the burdens of beauty. The sprawling brush strokes, slip in and out of a dreamstate, capturing the order of sensations in a utopic state.

Presenting a broader conversation with notorious painters, landscape history and romantic tradition, Smiley employs impressionistic and fleeting brushstrokes as a seductive portal to escapism. The tension is to survive the fantasy, mapped out in this captivating series of paths, gardens, and quiet distillations of urban nature flourish, providing a subtle glimpse into the unwelding space between subject and the artwork; memory and experience, reality and the real.

Shannon states:

I’m drawn to overlooked and undefined corners of the Australian suburban environment – an alleyway, a patch of weeds between a trainline and a warehouse, the twists and turns of the creek that refuse the encroaching development. Leftover land at the fringe of a development that no one can work out what to do with. In these edgelands, a wilderness grows with an urgent will to live, and I recognise in them something of the fantasy that runs through the Romantic tradition.

As I encounter these spaces in my daily routines, I think about the tension between the natural and built environments, about the language of European landscape painting, and about how much I love that language at the same time as questioning the inherent values within it.


2007   Bachelor Fine Arts (Honours) Victorian College of the Arts
2002   Diploma of Visual Art, Victoria University TAFE


2015   Finalist, John Glover Art Prize
2015   Finalist, Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize
2015   Winner, Peoples choice, Bayside acquisitive Art Prize
2014   Winner, John Leslie Art Prize
2012   Finalist, Metro Art Prize
2010   Finalist, John Leslie Art Prize


2017    Out Of Order, Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre
2012   Across From the Path, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide
2011   New Paintings, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide
2010   Wilderlust, Level 17 Art space, Victoria University, Melbourne
2010   Ordinary World, Lindberg Galleries, Melbourne


A Fine Romance, Realism in Australian Art, Gippsland Art Gallery, Sale
Focal Point, New Realist Painting, Hill Smith Gallery, Adelaide
Accession, Bundoora Homestead Arts Centre

Uneasy Idyll, Art Central, Hong Kong

From the Studio – Bayside Artists In Residence Exhibition, Bayside Arts and Cultural Centre

Full CV