Gria Shead

Born 1972
Lives and works in Sydney

Artist's CV

Represented by nanda\hobbs

Gria Shead sees, beyond the veil of conventional story-telling and hero worship, the breadth and contemporaneity of the experience of Otherness in the Australian context.

Gria Shead's technically astute paintings explore core human concerns: love, longing, displacement and discovery. She looks to earlier periods and environments in her quest to establish accurate references for a contemporary realisation of the issues of social justice, harmony and beauty.

Australian historiography privileges its patriot sons and their conquests over the country and adversity. Celebrated in words and images, legends were created by men about men, and white men at that. But what of the marginalised peoples in our early history: the women, the political refugees from old world England and Ireland, the deposed Indigenous people, and the early Chinese immigrants? Shead reviews our colonial and postcolonial history, finding that the forgotten not only contributed but also were, in many instances, the catalyst or inspiration for the stories we hold dear.

Shead’s oeuvre traces a trajectory on which may be plotted places and points of departure that she has transmuted with a jewel-like palette and technical verve and assurance.

Profile photo by Hugh Stewart

Read A Conversation with Jean Bedford and the ghost of Kate Kelly - by The Velvet Nap, which includes Gria Shead's painting Flash Kate. Jean Bedford published Sister Kate in 1982. It has recently been republished as an e-book. 

Read The Forgotten Kelly - by Ralph Hobbs, Sydney Morning Herald, July 5 2016
Read The Kate Kelly Story - The Art of Healing Magazine - Cover story, Vol 4, Issue 53, Dec/Jan 2016

\ Artworks

A View of Sydney

2013 \ Oil on canvas \ 95.5x88cm


Chasing the dragon

2015 \ oil on polyester \ 91x122cm


2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 91x137cm

Flash Kate

2014 \ Oil on canvas \ 183x111.5cm


Green Room II

2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 123x92cm


Interval at Ophir

2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 122x152cm


Kate Kelly

2017 \ Oil on canvas \ 106x95.5cm


Kate and Maggie

2014 \ Oil on board \ 60x80cm



2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 92x122cm

Stringybark Masque

2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 122x92cm


Talent scout

2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 91x122cm


The Green Room I

2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 92x122cm



2015 \ Oil on polyester \ 122x91cm


\ News


Gria Shead heads to Wales for The Sidney Nolan Trust international residency

2 July 2019

Gria Shead is about to embark on a residency programme in The Rodd estate on the English/Welsh border with the Sidney Nolan Trust where Nolan lived for the last ten years of his life. Gria was selected for the residency for her extensive work about Kate Kelly, sister of infamous bushranger Ned Kellyone of the greatest inspirations throughout Nolan's career. Photo of The Rodd estate courtesy Alex Ramsay.

Read more

\ Exhibitions featuring Gria Shead

Summer Show

Group Exhibition

5 December — 22 December 2018

Summer Exhibition

Group Exhibition

6 December 2017 — 20 January 2018

Gria Shead

LA BELLE EPOQUE - Casinos and Cigars

10 November — 25 November 2016

Gria Shead

Gold Dust

15 September — 25 September 2015

Brave New World

Group Exhibition

18 August — 28 August 2015

Gria Shead

Flash Kate - The Forgotten Kelly

10 July — 25 July 2014

Gria Shead

Damned Whores on a Fatal Shore

4 July — 19 July 2013

Contact Us

to find out more about Gria Shead.

12 - 14 Meagher Street Chippendale, NSW 2008
Opening Hours
We are currently open online and by appointment only Please contact us to arrange a viewing.