Jan Palethorpe

"When Jan Palethorpe takes up an idea, her commitment to it is profound. In her art practice, she has taken up nothing less than the state of the world – or more precisely, the Earth – in our time. It’s a theme that unites her genuine love of nature, her awareness of the challenges that face humanity, her deep knowledge of art history and the magic of her own art practice which brings together these concerns in a kind of apotheosis that has been decades in the making.

Palethorpe’s interest in the natural world has always been evident in her work. A decade before she won the 2005 Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize (Works on Paper), she was exploring her relationship to the land through artist’s residencies in the Kimberley, where she lived for three years and witnessed the deep connection to Country of the local Indigenous peoples. There she saw the devastating impact of colonisation on the land and her credentials as an artistic eco-warrior have been developing ever since. Notable examples of her commitment to this cause are her 2008-9 Imago exhibitions depicting fragile phasmids, case moths and cocoons, and her 2015 works Rising Tide and Hollow Angel on the Rock which symbolically depicted disappearing angels, the remaining parts of their ethereal forms rendered in exquisitely detailed pen-and-ink illustrations of landscapes under threat from climate change.z'

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Exhibition history

2023 Vanishing Point, Tacit Art, Melbourne
2020 Inside Me, Inside You, Taproom, Castlemaine
2019 Hollow Angels in Glass, Cascade Gallery, Maldon
2018 33 Ways to Wrap Christo, Robert Blackburn Print Gallery, New York
2015 33 Ways to Wrap Christo, Woodbine Gallery, Malmsbury
33 Ways to Wrap Christo, Lessedera Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2014 Paintings of the Song, Wall Gallery, Castlemaine
2010 Moth, Shelf Life Gallery, Tarradale
The Landscape in the Figure, Primrose Press, Chewton
2009 Imago Phasmids, Case Moths & Cocoons, Qdos Gallery, Lorne
2008 Imago - The Collection, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne
2007 Coracle, Stephen McLoughlin Gallery, Melbourne
Coracle, Pocket Gallery, Newstead
2001 In Heaven Everything is Fine, Convent Gallery, Daylesford

2023 Istoria, Burra Regional Gallery
2022 Loss, Lot 19, Castlemaine
Editions Print Prize, Tacit Art, Melbourne 
2021 Geelong Print Print, Geelong Art Gallery  
Cut’n’Paste, Newstead Arts Hub
Solidarity in Print, Lot 19, Castlemaine
2020 Ravenswood Australian Women’s Art Prize, Gordon, NSW
2019 Guanlan International Print Prize, Shenzhen Museum, China
Drawing on the Line, Cascade Gallery, Maldon
2018 Rivers of Gold, Australian Print Triennial, Mildura
2017 Guanlan International Print Prize, Shenzhen Museum, China
4th International Silk Road Exhibition, Shaanxi Museum, Xi’an, China
My Big Backyard, Arc Yinnar
2016 Chroma, Queenscliff Gallery & Workshop
Elemental, LaTrobe VAC, Bendigo
Thinking of Place, Post Office Gallery, Ballarat
2015 Impact, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
Miniprint International, Lessedera Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria
2014 Impact, Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee, UK
International Miniature Print Biennale, Ottawa School of Art, Canada
Illuminations, CASPA, Castlemaine
2013 Interwoven, Stephen McLoughlin Gallery, Melbourne (w/ Lillian Townsend)
Guanlan International Print Prize, Shenzhen Museum, China
A Collective Vision, Castlemaine Art Museum
2012 International Miniature Print Biennale, Ottawa School of Art, Canada
Art Concerning Environment, Scope Galleries, Warrnambool
Compact Prints, Umbrella Studios, Townsville
2011 Burnie Print Prize, Tasmania
The Biennial - Pressing Issues, Castlemaine State Fair
Footprints, Counihan Gallery, Melbourne
2010 Swan Hill Print & Drawing Acquisitive Art Prize
Mini Print International, Cadaques, Spain
Impressions, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne