Alice Byrne

Alice Byrne’s work has long been absorbed with investigating the aesthetic qualities of architectural forms by deconstructing them into their most essential elements. Breaking down these structures into flat planes and angles allows for endless experimentation with colour and composition, whether they are urban apartments, country abodes in the Burgundy region of France, or houses located in rural Victoria. In soft glazes of oil paint, Byrne blurs the edges of luminous fields of colours to create the serene, contemplative quality that defines her work. Yet in her most recent work Byrne extends the image of a house beyond its formal qualities, to drive it into much more mysterious and evocative scenarios.

In the works that featured in her 2009 exhibition Into the Wald (15 October – 7 November, 2009), Byrne returned to a small, decommissioned school-house in country Victoria, allowing her imagination to roam freely and create the intriguing quality that we see in each painting, which is partly generated through her attention to the rich wooded surroundings that encroach upon this humble little building. She is known for her unique sensibility for colour and her ability to experiment with striking colour combinations, as evident in both her oils and watercolours. But most importantly, in each painting the artist seems to draw the viewer in, and set them on a journey.

Byrne studied at the National Art School Sydney, gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Painting) in 1999. Since then she has completed a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts in Paris in 2000, along with a residency at La Pommerie, St Setiers, France also in 2000, and a St Vincent’s Hospital residency in Melbourne in 2004. Byrne has exhibited successfully in NSW and Victoria and her work is held in Forbes Chambers, Sydney; Origin Capital, Sydney; Pat Corrigan Collection, Sydney; St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and private collections throughout Australia.

Alice Byrne is represented in Victoria by James Makin Gallery.

Born Sydney, 1973


2006 Postgraduate Diploma of Visual Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
1999 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), The National Art School, Sydney
1995 Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts), Sydney University


2009 Into the Wald, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2007 Nests, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
2005 Recent Works from the Cite des Arts, Span Galleries, Melbourne
2004 Paintings and Works on Paper, Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Sydney
2002 New Works, Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2000 Alice Byrne, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Landscapes, La Pommerie, St. Setiers, France


2010 Autumn Collection, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
City of Darebin and La Trobe University Art Prize 2009, Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, Melbourne
Winter Collection, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
James Makin Gallery at acga gallery @ federation square, The Australian Commercial Galleries Association Gallery, Federation Square, Melbourne
Autumn Collection, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
Winter Collection, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
Autumn Collection, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship – Past Winners Exhibition, Brett Whiteley Studio, Sydney
There is no Place Like Home, NG Art Gallery, Sydney
Art Sydney 07, with James Makin Gallery, Royal Hall of Industries, Sydney
Athenaeum Art Prize Exhibition, Athenaeum Club, Melbourne
Winter Collection, James Makin Gallery, Melbourne
Melbourne Art Fair, with Port Jackson Press Australia, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne
Art Sydney 06, with James Makin Gallery, Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Group Exhibition, Port Jackson Press Australia, Melbourne
Australian Flavour, Petaluma Vineyard, South Australia
Flavour, Australian High Commission and United Galleries at Art Loft, Singapore
Works on Paper Exhibition, Maunsell Wickes at Barry Stern Galleries, Sydney
Cromwell’s Art Prize short-listed artworks, Cromwell’s Auction House, Sydney
Horses, Houses and Homes, Maunsell Wickes Gallery, Sydney
Metro 5 Art Award Finalists Exhibition, Metro 5 Gallery, Melbourne
Open Day, the private collection of Pat Corrigan A.M., Art Gallery of New South Wales Society, Sydney
Bus-iness, Shoe Box Gallery, Sydney
Global Gallery 4th Birthday Show, Global Gallery, Sydney
Rear Window, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Artists of the Cite des Arts, Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris, France
Maitland Art Prize, Maitland, NSW
Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, Brett Whiteley Studio, Sydney
The Women’s Festival Art Exhibition, The Domain, Sydney
4 Artists Group Show, Global Gallery, Sydney
Bull Dust, First Gallery, Sydney
La Pommerie Field Studies, St Setiers, France
Tap Art Competition Exhibition, Tap Gallery, Sydney


2004 St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
2000 Internationale Cite des Arts, Paris, France
La Pommerie, St. Setiers, France
1998 La Pommerie, St. Setiers, France


2009 City of Darebin & La Trobe University Art Prize (Finalist)
2006 Athenaeum Art Prize (Finalist)
2004 Metro 5 Art Award (Finalist)
1999 Inaugural Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship


‘Melbourne News – James Makin Gallery on the move’, Art World, Issue 9 June/July 2009
‘Autumn highlights’, ‘Out & About’ Domain Section, The Age, 7 March 2009
Marguerite Brown, ‘Forward’, Nests exhibition catalogue, March 2007
Marguerite Brown, ‘Alice Byrne’, James Makin Gallery Winter Collection exhibition catalogue No.4, July 2006
Jeffrey Makin, ‘Quarter Master’, Herald Sun, 28 Nov 2005
Shonagh Walker, ‘Madison Entertain – What Now’, Madison Magazine, March edition 2005
‘Celebrate Australia 2005’, Prestige, March edition 2005
‘Singapore’, World of Antiques and Art, March edition 2005
Elizabeth Fortescue, ‘Alice Byrne and Craig Waddell’, The Daily Telegraph, 6 Nov 2004
William Petley, ‘Whiteley win woos Alice’, The Sun-Herald, 31 Oct 2004
Jeffrey Makin, ‘Images of Raw Power’, Herald Sun, 9 February 2004
Andrew Webster, ‘Anxious Wait for Artists’, Moreland Leader, 8 December 2003
Alexa Moses, ‘Spotlight – Visual Arts’, Sydney Morning Herald, 3 April 2002
Julia Leigh and Alice Byrne, ‘Alice in Paris’, Art Gallery of New South Wales Society Look Magazine, March edition 2002
‘Burn for you’, Wentworth Courier, 10 April 2002
Brenda Colahan, ‘A Star is Born – Australia’s New Artistic Movement’, Lexus Living Magazine, summer edition
Alejandra Sczcepaniak, ‘Au revoir Bondi’, Art Gallery of New South Wales Society Look Magazine, February edition 2000
‘La Pommerie entre abstractionef figuratif’, Ussel paper, 28 September 2000
Harriet O’Malley, ‘Alice Byrne’, l’Australie en France, numero.9, Sept-Oct-Nov 2000
Sally Loane, Interview with Alice Byrne, 2BL, 10 September 1999
Robin Amadio, ‘Artist’s vision fulfilled’, Wentworth Courier, 15 September 1999
Bryce Hallet, ‘Whiteley Gift Aids Artists French Impressions’, Sydney Morning Herald, 11-12 September 1999
Ben Holgate, ‘Whiteley’s wish fulfilled with youth’, The Australian, 11 September 1999
‘Paris on the Line’, The Newtown Times, 13 September 1999
Work featured in Craft Arts International, No. 46, p67, 1999
‘Artichoke’, Exhibition review, 2SER, 10 November 1999
Sebastian Smee, ‘Year draws to an end’, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 September 1998
Stage Artistique, ‘Des Australiens planchent sure le theme de l’arbe a <>’, Ussel paper, August 1998


Forbes Chambers, Sydney
Origin Capital, Sydney
Pat Corrigan Collection, Sydney
St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne