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Sally Smart


“Sally Smart has long been interested in the unstable, the illusory and the uncanny. As opposed to certainty or perfectibility, her interest is in the realms of shadows, symptoms, dreams, mutations, subconscious memories and spooks that haunt the mind’s equilibrium...”

(excerpt from Sally Smart - Family tree house (shadows and symptoms) 1998–2002 by Deborah Hart, 2004

Works chronology  
Miscellaneous Design Therapy a Week Of Kindness the Exquisite Pirate the Exquisite Pirate Oceania Decoy Nest The Pedagogical Puppet  
Decoy Nest, by Dr Melissa Miles, 2010

Named after the decoy nests made by birds to keep their predators at bay, Sally Smart’s Decoy Nest represents an alternate strategy – part of a complex scheme that keeps us guessing and continually exceeds our grasp. Smart forages in the undergrowth of cultural memory, and gathers up fragments from which to build her elaborate assemblages. Elements of fabric and photographs of bodies and trees are cut and layered to comprise this large-scale construction. Variously textured bark photographic elements overlap to form a sturdy tree trunk which sprouts branches that are entangled with ambiguous and evocative forms.

The bed that sits in the treetop alludes to the home as nest. From a nearby tree hang a pair of human limbs as disembodied outstretched fingers and hands simultaneously extend the tree’s reach. These oscillating patterns of life, loss, growth, decay, extension and retreat mirror the larger movement both towards and away from tangible meaning that characterises Smart’s practice. Above this conceptual snare is perched a giant dense black nest.

Decoy Nest is a development of Smart’s earlier work, Family Tree House (2000-2005), which invoked the family tree, the tree house and the tree of life through paradoxical arrangements of homely and unhomely imagery. The blues, blacks and greys of Decoy Nest set a much more ominous tone. Coupled with the tree’s bare branches, this dark palette encourages us to question whether this tree is really dead and merely a host to the activity, or is a deciduous tree in the stasis of winter and a living partner to other cycles of life, death and renewal. Decoy Nest consequently stands as a potent metaphor for our contemporary moment in which we are being forced to reconsider our past and future relationships to a planet in the grip of global warming and environmental degradation.

The fine straight lines that establish more explicit points of connection between the different elements in Decoy Nest recall practices of map-making and the linear structure of a family tree. However, unlike the cartographer and genealogist, Smart seeks ultimately to unsettle our expectations for structure and transparency in order to open up new spaces for imagination and intervention. The white gallery wall on which the work is pinned thereby transforms into a psychological space in which countless associations are layered, entwined and dispersed.

In Smart’s practice, photographic elements and silhouetted forms are fractured and hybridised to heighten their symbolic potential. Moreover, by emphasising the pins and joins that connect each of her formal components, Smart makes visible the highly physical and performative processes of collecting, cutting, reconstructing and pinning through which her work is produced. This performative quality is reiterated by the figure that appears towards the top of Decoy Nest, a photograph of Smart herself. Layers of practice, material and metaphor overlap and double back in this nest, as Smart’s practice of pinning forms a decoy whose meaning cannot ultimately be pinned down.

Dr Melissa Miles
Lecturer in Theory of Art & Design at the Faculty of Art Design, Monash University, Australia.

The Exquisite Pirate (Oceania), artist statement, 2008

The Exquisite Pirate is an ongoing body of work, begun in 2004.
It has been recently exhibited as wall installations of varying dimensions and is made primarily from felt, canvas and everyday fabrics. It was installed as a large-scale assemblage in 2006 at Postmasters Gallery, New York, NY; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia, in the exhibition 2006 Contemporary Commonwealth ; Dangerous Waters, Herbert F.Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; El Pirata Esquisito, Jacob Karpio Galeria, San Jose, Costa Rica; in 2007 in New History at The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, The Hunter College, New York and 24hrArt Darwin Contemporary Art Space.

The Exquisite Pirate work has developed from a long-term interest in representations of feminine identity with reference to contemporary and historical models. It also brings forth the woman pirate as a metaphor for contemporary global issues of personal and social identity, cultural instability, immigration and hybridity, and reflects on the symbolism of the ship and its relevance to postcolonial discourse and, specifically, its relevance to contemporary and historical Australia. My work places a practical and theoretical emphasis on the installation space, on mutable forms and methodologies of deconstruction and reconstruction. My use of materials is integral to the conceptual unfolding of my work: the process of cutting, collage, photo-montage, staining, sewing and stitching – and their association with women’s practices – are refined and reassessed in the context of each installation.

The Exquisite Pirate develops my ideas about the woman pirate as a metaphor for personal and social identity, cultural hybridity and immigration. The project initiated from a simple question – “were there any women pirates?” Parallel to this was the seemingly huge growth in popular culture imagery connected to pirates and continuous reference of the word itself in the media as relating to cyberspace activities. In contemporary and historical Australia the boat and ship have loomed large around immigration issues and for me have become expressive, powerful images for postcolonial discourses.
Of my research on women pirates, it is Kathy Acker’s book Pussy King of Pirates that resonates through The Exquisite Pirate. Acker uses the metaphor of female pirates to explore feminine issues and sexuality, at the same time subverting the historic perception of piracy as a male domain. Without glorifying the lawlessness of the historical woman pirate, my work proposes a figure of indeterminate identity as a way of thinking about a globalised world and the need for alternative opinions.

Sally Smart

Painting in the Dark, by Felicity Fenner, 2004
versión en español

The forms and figures that occupy Sally Smart's recent paintings are informed by art historical and personal stories, imbued with aspects of feminism and psychoanalysis. As such, a surrealist element pervades Smart's imagery, articulated by shadowy human and natural motifs that hover on nebulous backgrounds rendered in shades of dark. Yet these are not passive dream-like works: they are confronting both in their raw and visceral fabrication, and in their intensely intimate portrayal of mnemonic and melancholic psychological states.

There is an uncanny sense of inhabitation in these works – a sense of being inextricably bound into intimate stories and complex environments that intersect physically and psychologically in our individual and collective memories. Unexpected shifts in scale and depth disarm the unsuspecting viewer. In comparison to the diminutive scale of some of the artist's art historical sources, including Cubism and Surrealism, Smart's paintings are huge. Their scale, narrative disquiet and prevailing blackness are engulfing.

The artist’s and indeed the viewers' physical relationship to these theatrical and evocative vignettes is ambiguous: are we inside looking out? Or outside looking in? As if unwittingly dragged into a stage performance without knowing the actors’ roles, we struggle to maintain a conventionally objective viewpoint from beyond the picture's surface. This lack of distinction between inner and outer realities is an extension of the performative process inherent to the making of these paintings: drawing on a repertoire of collage images made from felt, fabric and photographic elements - which here include spider webs, insect wings, women's skirts and disembodied legs with shoes carefully laced - Smart's canvas is a malleable entity, ever-shifting in response to the artist’s intuitive movements through and around the picture plane. Nothing here is pinned down until many options have been explored.

This co-existence of finite and abstract elements, of the real and imagined, is as seductive as it is disorientating. We are like Alice in Wonderland, drawn into an unpredictable and occasionally threatening dreamscape of symbolically-laden narratives. Or is Alice in fact the protagonist, submerged by the oversized insect wings that she's sprouted, or entangled in the branches of Goya's deathly tree from the Disasters of War? If there is an autobiographical element to these works, it embraces the experience not only of the artist, but of an audience engaged in philosophical, postcolonial and environmental discourses.

The tree of life is an ancient theme in many cultural contexts; the family tree is similarly central to humanity's perception of self. It is not coincidental, given the current world situation, that Goya's famous series is invoked here, nor is the tree devoid of local political symbolism, particularly given Smart's rural Australian background and interest in the iconic value of the native gum tree.

Painting in the Dark is a multi-layered series of work in many ways. Besides the physical layering of Smart's collage process, the phraseology of the title suggests a searching into the mind and imagination. Then there is the recurrent use of silhouette forms, which not only bring a historic and spectral character to the paintings, but which in their indeterminate features reveal the vagaries and hidden depths of human existence.
Felicity Fenner, 2004

[versión en español]

Pintando en la oscuridad

Las formas y figuras que ocupan la pintura reciente de Sally Smart están basadas en la Historia del arte y en historias personales, repletas de aspectos acerca del feminismo y el psicoanálisis. Como tal, un elemento surrealista impregna la imaginería de Smart, articulada por sombríos motivos humanos o naturales que flotan sobre fondos nebulosos reproducidos en tonalidades oscuras. Sin embargo, éstas no son obras pasivas, ensueños, y se enfrentan en su invención cruda y visceral, y en su intensa e íntima representación de mnemotécnicos y melancólicos estados psicológicos.

Hay una extraordinaria sensación de ausencia en estas obras – una sensación de estar inextricablemente confinado en historias íntimas y complejos ambientes que se interceptan física y psicológicamente en nuestra memoria individual y colectiva. Inesperados cambios de escala y profundidad desarman al confiado espectador. En comparación con la diminutiva escala de algunas de las fuentes artístico-históricas de la artista -incluyendo el Cubismo y el Surrealismo-, las pinturas de Smart son enormes. Su inquietante escala narrativa y prevaleciente oscuridad son sobrecogedoras.

La relación psíquica del artista y, por supuesto, del espectador ante estas viñetas teatrales y evocadoras es ambigua: ¿estamos dentro mirando hacia afuera? ¿o fuera mirando hacia adentro? Como si con nulo entendimiento fuéramos arrastrados hacia un escenario sin conocer el rol de cada actor, nos esforzamos en mantener un punto de vista objetivo, convencional, desde mas allá de la superficie de la pintura. Esta falta de distinción entre realidades internas o externas es una extensión del proceso preformativo inherente a la construcción de estas pinturas: dibujos en un repertorio de imágenes de collage hechas de fieltro, tejidos y elementos fotográficos – el cual aquí incluye telas de araña, alas de insectos, faldas de mujer y misteriosas piernas con zapatos cuidadosamente enlazados. El lienzo de Smart es una entidad maleable, eternamente cambiante en respuesta a los movimientos intuitivos de la artista a través y en torno al plano de la imagen. Nada queda aquí fijado hasta que muchas opciones no han sido exploradas.

Esta coexistencia de elementos finos y abstractos, de lo real y lo imaginado, es tan seductora como desorientadora. Somos transportados, como Alicia en el País de las Maravillas, a un impredecible y ocasionalmente amenazador escenario de ensueño de narrativas cargadas de simbolismos. ¿O es acaso Alicia la protagonista, inundada por las sobredimensionadas alas de insecto que de ella han brotado o enredada en las ramas del mortal árbol de los Desastres de la Guerra de Goya? Si existe un elemento narrativo en estas obras, éste abarca no sólo las experiencias de la artista, pero también las de una audiencia comprometida con discursos filosóficos, postcoloniales y medioambientales.

El árbol de la vida es un tema ancestral en muchos contextos culturales; el árbol de familia es analógicamente central a la propia percepción humana. No es coincidencia, dada la situación del mundo actual, que se haya invocado aquí esta famosa serie de Goya, tampoco lo es el árbol desprovisto de simbolismos políticos locales, particularmente dados los antecedentes rurales australianos de Smart y su interés por el valor icónico de los árboles de resina autóctonos.

Pintando en la oscuridad es una serie de obras que, en diferentes sentidos, está dotada de múltiples capas. Además de la propagación psíquica del proceso de collage de Smart, el título sugiere una búsqueda en la mente y la imaginación. Luego hay un uso recurrente de siluetas, que no sólo aportan personajes espectrales e históricos a las pinturas, sino que en sus rasgos indeterminados revelan lo inestable y lo más hondo y escondido de la existencia humana.

Felicity Fenner, 2004

A Week of Kindness, by Felicity Fenner, 2004

One man searching the pages of Whiteley's general catalogue will find only facts and prices; another will find... a deeply moving human drama. 1

British satirists E.V. Lucas' and George Morris' witty collages made from department store catalogues were some of the earliest Dada spoofs on the foibles of humanity in a modern world. Sally Smart's 'deeply moving human drama' is explored by merging reference to the past with contemporary theoretical and artistic concepts. Her 'relief' paintings are informed by a feminist interest in deconstructing notions of the self and a passion for the process of art-making, with all its unpredictable outcomes, accidental marks and sublime moments of creative expression.

The exhibition's title, A Week of Kindness, reveals Smart's debt to Max Ernst's book of the same title (Une Semaine De Bonte, 1934), which has inspired aspects of her practice for many years. Ernst's sources were historical, based on the florid and sentimental wood-engravings that illustrated Victorian popular fiction. Just as Ernst, unlike his contemporaries, derived visual material from the popular culture of a generation before him, Smart too looks back to an earlier time; her paintings evoke Constructivist art, Dada and Surrealism, references to childhood activities such as dressmaking and collage fuelling dreams and imagination.

It is worth noting also the strong conceptual link between Sally Smart and Hannah Hoch, in particular the latter's collages from the 1920s and 30s and costume designs for the Anti-Revue (1924-25). These feature wooden doll-like figures with heads constructed from architectural and mechanical elements, and are re-invented in other aspects of Smart's recent practice. Though Smart assembles her Week of Kindness protagonists in homemade 'costumes', loosely attaching them as if onto the cardboard dolls of Victorian times onto which different outfits could be pinned, she is actually (conversely) exposing them for the world to see: fragmented bodily organs, skeletons, hair and ominous Ernst-like insect forms are perched precariously, somehow retaining a relatively coherent outward form. In these paintings Smart delves deep into the human psyche, revealing its passions and phobias, her remarkable insight reminiscent of Hannah Hoch's claim that 'I perceive physiologically - I smell - the proximity or - how shall I put it? - the innermost being, the entrails of every soul'. 2

Where Hoch eliminated signs of author's presence, deleting traces of touch in the art-making process, Smart casts her collaged appropriations within her characteristic handmade mould. Made from fabric, felt and other mixed media, these paintings are deliberately somatic and redolent of visceral presence in their material tactility. This quality is inherently linked to the artist's interest in the role of the feminine in art practice: 'Although painting is the most esteemed of patriarchal art practices, Smart's deconstructive methods, her dismantling of illusionism, and her emphasis on the processes of construction through cutting and sewing cloth, highlight her revival of women's art practices and her role as the agent of her own meanings. Most importantly they highlight her role as a performer, for everywhere... there are marks, stains and traces to indicate the artist's bodily presence'. 3

Smart's work is also distinguished from its artistic precedents by scale. Surrealist collages turn viewers into voyeurs, the typically diminutive size demanding close proximity and detailed inspection. Smart's paintings are, in contrast, scaled to larger, more contemporary, almost human dimensions. Looking at these images mimics the experience of looking at oneself in a mirror. Theme park mirrors come to mind, each one reflecting a different version of the outer self, depending on the clothing and physiological idiosyncrasies of the presenting character. Another aspect of this work that locates it within the contemporary sphere is its comment on the manipulative and insidious magazine culture in which we live: just as theme park mirrors offer a choice of self-image, one's identity can be redefined by flicking through lifestyle and fashion magazines, collaging elements together in a merging of inner desire with outward necessity.

It is this osmotic ambivalence between interior and exterior, which Hannah Hoch referred to as the blurring of the boundaries in which we live, that captures the imagination of Sally Smart and accounts for the uncanny and dream-like quality of these works. Somehow, we feel, something's not quite right... they have an uneven, homespun rawness that is disturbing in its irreverence, though while her approach might sometimes seem cynical, it is born of familiarity, even love. These spectral silhouettes, with their exposed physiological quirks and imposed handmade fashions, are solitary souls, trapped between the inner and outer worlds of fear and desire, symbols of the 'deeply moving human drama' in which we all inevitably participate.

Felicity Fenner

1 E.V. Lucas and George Morris, What a Life! (1911), with introduction by John Ashberry, Dover Publications, New York, 1975
2 Hannah Hoch in Adriani Gotz, Hannah Hoch 1889-1978 Collages, Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Stuttgart, 1985, p. 14
3 Helen McDonald, Sally Smart, essay on The Unhomely Body series, in Sally Smart: Femmage, Shadows and Symptoms, Fukuoka Art Museum, Japan, 1996, p. 14

[essays should not be reproduced without permission from the authors]
1960 Born, Quorn, South Australia Sally Smart
1978-81 South Australian School of Art, Adelaide
1987-88 Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne Post-graduate Diploma (Painting)
Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne (Master of Fine Arts)
2001-8 Trustee, National Gallery of Victoria, Australia
2014 Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Art, VCA, MCM, University of Melbourne
Currently Lives and works in Melbourne, Australia

The Pedagogical Puppet Projects, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Choreographing Collage, Breenspace, Sydney

2012 In Her Nature/The Log Dance, (ArtHK) Amelia Johnson Contemporary Hong Kong
The Pedagogical Puppet Projects, Contemporary Galleries, University of Connecticut
I Build My Time, Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne
2011 Flaubert’s Puppets, Postmasters Gallery, New York
In Her Nature, Breenspace Sydney, Australia
2010 Femmage Shadows and Symptoms, McClelland Gallery + Sculpture Park, Langwarrin, Australia
Decoy Nest, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Performativities, Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Hong Kong
2009 The Exquisite Pirate (South China Sea), OV Gallery, Shanghai, China
Performativities, Block Projects, Melbourne
The Exquisite Pirate, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC, USA
2008 Decoy Nest, Block Projects, Melbourne
Decoy Nest, Postmasters Gallery, New York, USA
The Exquisite Pirate (Oceania), Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
The Exquisite Pirate (China Sea), Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Hong Kong
2007 The Exquisite Pirate (North Sea), Ter Caemer-Meert, Contemporary, Kortrijk, Belgium
The Exquisite Pirate (Large Craft), Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
The Exquisite Pirate (Yawk Yawk), 24HR Art, Northern Territory, Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin

The Exquisite Pirate, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
The Exquisite Pirate, Postmasters Gallery, New York

2005 Painting in the Dark, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
2004 A Week of Kindness, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Prototypes and Multiples, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
2002 Shadow Farm, Bond University Gallery, Gold Coast
Daughter Architect, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
Shadow Farm, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
Design Therapy, Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
2001 Shadow Farm, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
FamilyTreeHouse, Galeria Barro Senna Sao Paulo, Brazil
Femmage, Shadows and Symptoms, G2 Gallery Auckland New Zealand
Parameters Head: Design Therapy, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
2000 Shadow Farm, Wollongong City Gallery, Wollongong; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne
Parameters Head, Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide
Femmage (Shadows and Symptoms), Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide
Arco 2000 Project Room, Greenaway Art Gallery, Arco2000, Madrid, Spain
1999 Femmage Frieze, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
Femmage (Shadows and Symptoms), Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka, Japan
1998 Femmage (Shadows and Symptoms), Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1997 The Unhomely Body, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1996 Dora Drawer, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
The Unhomely Body, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide
1995 Imaginary Anatomy, Australian Print Workshop, Melbourne.
Itchy, Itchy, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
1994 Delicate Cutting, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne
Where I come from the birds sing a pretty song, Latrobe Regional Gallery,
Morwell, Victoria
1993 Where I come from the birds sing a pretty song, Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong
1992 Dress, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
Cut-Outs, Monash University, Gippsland School of Visual Art, Churchill
1991 The Large Darn, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
1990 The Printed Curtain, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
1989 X-Ray Vanitas, Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne
Mad Woman in the Attic, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne
1986 Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney
2014 The Brassington Affair, Tasmanian University Gallery, Hobart, Australia
Solitare, TarraWarra Museum of Art, Healsville, Victoria, Australia
Dark Heart Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
2013 Para-Real, 601 Artspace New York, NY, USA
Community and Context, MADA Gallery, Monah University, Melbourne, Australia
2012 Negotiating This World - Contemporary Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia 28
Remix: Selections from the International Collage Center, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art! Sedalia, Missouri, USA
Time & Vision Bargehouse Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London
The Art Department Faculty Exhibition The William Benton Museum of Art Connecticut’s State Art Museum, USA
Philanthropy: The art of giving, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo, Australia
Feminage The logic of feminist collage Cross Arts Projects Sydney Australia
The Anatomy Lesson The Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Australian Contemporary : Women, GOMA, Brisbane, Queensland Australia
No-Name Station, Gertrude Contemporary Melbourne, Australia
Go Figure! Xstrata Kids and Teens exhibition Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville
2011 Radical Drawings Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
Remix: Selections from the ICC, Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell, Pennsylvania USA
Your Move: Australian artists play chess
Anne and Gordon Samstag - Museum of Art, University of South Australia
The Devil had a Daughter, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia
Colourific Postmasters Gallery, New York NY,USA
Artworks, Deutsche Bank Collection Exhibition, Frankfurt, Germany
2010 Stick It!, Collage in Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Zhongjian : Midway, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington
Northern Winter, Heilongjiang International Festival of Arts and Culture, Harbin, China
A Fairy's Tail, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, NSW
Zhongjian : Midway, Tamworth Regional Gallery, NSW
2009 Sh Contemporary, OV Gallery, Shanghai, China
The Garden at 4 A.M., Gana Art Gallery, New York, USA
Zhongjian : Midway - 15 Contemporary Artists from China and Australia, Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Xiamen, China / and Wollongong City Gallery, Australia
2008-9 Contemporary Prints and Drawings, The Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
2008 Maritime: Ships, Pirates and Disasters, Contemporary Art Galleries, University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA
The Exquisite Pirate, GAGPROJECTS, Berlin, Germany
Treescape, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Exquisite Pirate, Scope Basel installation, Basel, Switzerland
The Contemporary Collage: Australian collage and assemblage, John Buckley Gallery, Melbourne

New History, The Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, Hunter College, New York
Float, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, NSW


El Pirata Esquisito, Jacob Karpia Galeria Art Basel/ Miami Beach, Miami
Segunda Primer Mundo, Jacob Karpia Galeria San, Jose Costa Rica
The Exquisite Pirate, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca,NY
Fantastic Voyages, Kaliman Gallery, Sydney
Circa Puerto Rico ’06,  Greenaway Art Gallery,  Puerto Rico
Art Taipei 2006, Greenaway Art Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
2006 Contemporary Commonwealth, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne, Australia

2005 The Exquisite Pirate Jogja Biennale, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Surface Charge, VCU arts Anderson Gallery, Richmond Virginia, USA
Where the wild things are, UTS Gallery, Sydney
Architypes, Canadian Embassy, Tokyo, Japan
Painting in the Dark, Arco 2005, Greenaway Art Gallery, Madrid, Spain
2004 Architypes, Ivan Dougherty Gallery, Sydney, Australia
Place made, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Architypes, (six international artists) Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, Canada;
Femmage, Arco 2004, International Art Fair /Greenaway Art Gallery, Madrid, Spain
2003 see here now, The Vizard Foundation Art Collection of the 1990’s,
Ian Potter Gallery,
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne
Fieldwork: Australian Art 1968 - 2002, The Ian Potter Centre: NGV: Australia, Melbourne
2002 Crime Scenes, Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne,
Arid Arcadia: Art of the Flinders Ranges, Art Gallery of South Australia
Tales of the unexpected: Aspects of Contemporary Australian Art, National, Gallery of Australia, Canberra
2001 Figure-It, University of Tasmania Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart
2000 National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria
Celebrating the Exquisite Corpse, Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo
1999 Exploratory Behavior, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Re-emplace, (Sally Smart and Suzann Victor) Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore;
John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University, Perth

Unhomely, Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju and Seoul, Korea
Pusan International Contemporary Art Festival, Pusan, Korea


The Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1995, Australian tour.
Recent Acquisitions: Deakin University Art Collection, Geelong Art Gallery
The Loti and Victor Smorgon Gift of Contemporary Australian Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney


The Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1994, Australian tour
Skin, Contemporary   Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide  


Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1992, Australian tour
Victorian College of the Arts 1991 Post Graduate Exhibition,Ian Potter Gallery, The University of Melbourne
Margaret Stewart Endowment, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1991, Australian tour
Selected Works from The University of Melbourne Art Collection, Deakin University Gallery, Geelong

1990 Selected Recent Acquisitions, National Gallery of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1989 Imaging Aids, Australian Centre of Contemporary Art/Linden Gallery, Melbourne

A Short Ride in a Fast Machine, 200 Gertrude Street, Melbourne


Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Art VCA, MCM, University of Melbourne


Australia Council Visual Arts Fellowship
Arts Victoria Cultural Exchange Grant
Raymond and Beverly Sackler 2012 Artist-in-Residence, University of Connecticut, USA


Life Member of the National Gallery of Victoria


Overseas Studio Residency (New York), Visual Arts Board, Australia Council, Sydney

2004 New Work Grant, Visual Arts/Craft Board, Australia Council, Sydney
Export and Touring Grant, Arts Victoria, Melbourne
Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Sydney
2001 Development Grant, Visual Arts/Craft Board, Australia Council, Sydney
2000 Export and Touring Grant, Arts Victoria, Melbourne
National Works on Paper Acquisitive Prize, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery
1999 Overseas Studio Residency (London), Visual Arts/Craft Board, Australia Council, Sydney
Arts 21 International Cultural Exchange Program Grant
1998 Women Artists Grant, Arts Victoria, Melbourne
Victoria Cultural Development Grant, Arts Victoria, Melbourne
City of Melbourne International Travel Grant, Arts Victoria, Melbourne
1995 Monash Graduate Scholarship, Monash University, Melbourne
1991 Project Grant, Visual Arts/Craft Board, Australia Council, Sydney
1989 ANZ Travelling Scholarship, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
1988 Fred Williams Family Prize, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne
St Kilda Prize Acquisition, City of St Kilda
Victorian College of the Arts Foundation Award, Melbourne
1981 H.P. Gill Memorial Medal, South Australian School of Art, Adelaide
Sabine Russ and Gregory Volk, Surface Charge ex., cat VCU arts Anderson Gallery, Richmond Virginia, USA 2005
Pete Hume, The Arts on the wall, Richmond Times – Despatch September 23, Virginia 2005
Murata Yuko Architypes, Real Tokyo, Japan, 2005
Sebastian Smee, The Shapes of Private Memories, The Australian, March 17, Sydney 2005
Felicity Fenner Architypes ex.,cat, Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver, Canada 2004
Sally Smart Family Tree House art.es magazine, Madrid Spain 2004
Deborah Hart Daughter Architect, Art and Australia, Vol. 42, Summer 2004
Felicity Fenner A Week of Kindness ex., cat Greenaway Art Gallery, Adelaide 2004
Georgina Safe A passion to represent The Australian /Feature/Feb 7 2004
Penny Webb Darkness and Day, The Age, September 24, 2003, Melbourne
Chris McAuliffe see here now The Vizard Foundation Art Collection of the 1990’s, Ian Potter Gallery, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 2003
Cynthia Wild Conversation Piece Meanjin June 2003 Melbourne
Anna Gray (Editor) Australian Art in the National Gallery of Australia, 2002,Canberra
Deborah Hart Tales of the Unexpected;aspects of contemporary Australian art (exhibition catalogue) National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2002
Sasha Grishin Flights of fantasy into an alternative reality Canberra Times, Canberra July 2002
Deborah Hart Art on view National Gallery of Australia Canberra 2002
Alisa Bunbury Arid Arcadia :Art of the Flinders Ranges, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 2002
Erin O‚Dwyer Tragic Edge to Farm Images The Courier Mail Brisbane 5 July 2002
John Neylon Disruptive The Adelaide Review , Adelaide May 2002
Wendy Walker Skirting around with designs The Advertiser, Adelaide May 13 2002
Christopher Marshall Interpreting Art Macmillian Melbourne 2001
Megan Backhouse Pointedly poignant pin-ups The Age, Melbourne, Mar 5 2001
Karen Ward You must go beyond the obvious Bendigo Advertiser Oct 13 2001
Maria Kunda Shadow Farm (exhibition catalogue) Bendigo Art Gallery 2000
Camila Molina Brasil e Australia na Baro Senna O Estado De S. Paulo,Sao Paulo, Brazil, 28 Jul 2001
Rodrigo Moura Sally Smart retira imagens da sombra Folha Sao Paulo, Brazil Jul 26 2001
AnneMarie Kiely Smart Art Belle Magazine March 2001
Peter Timms Parameters Head:Design Therapy, The Age, Melbourne Mar 14 2001 Maria Kunda Riddles (exhibition catalogue)Tasmanian School of Art 2001
Helen McDonald Erotic Ambiguities Routledge London 2001Helen McDonald, Erotic Ambiguity Routledge, London, 2000
Stephanie Radok, Parameters Head: A la Ronde Artlink Vol20 #4 December 2000
John Neylon, “Haunting of the EAF” The Adelaide Review October 2000
Christopher Chapman, Four Scenes,Parameters Head:A La Ronde (exhibition catalogue)Experimental Art Foundation, Adelaide, 2000.
Marcus Baumgart, Parameters Head:A La Ronde (exhibition catalogue) 2000
Wendy Walker, Layers of Modernism, The Advertiser, Adelaide, April 2000
Rachel Kent, Family Tree House (exhibition catalogue) Arco 2000, Project Room, 2000

Sasha Grishin, Australian Painting Now Edited by Laura Murray Cree and
Nevill Drury, Craftsman House,Sydney 2000
Lara Travis, Re-emplace (exhibition catalogue), Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore, 1999
Binghui Huangfu, Re-emplace (exhibition catalogue), Earl Lu Gallery, Singapore, 1999
Rachel Kent, Disturbing Narratives: Sally Smart’s Femmage (Shadows and Symptoms) exhibition catalogue, Melbourne 1999
Jenny Zimmer, Anatomy of a young artist: Sally Smart”, State of the Arts, Victoria 1998-99
Robert Rooney, Smart’s Art Foxes Clever, The Australian, 9 October 1998
Anna Clabburn, “Installation Success”, The Age, 30 September 1998
Kim Mi - hui, “Conceptions of Home Altered in Unhomely” Korean Times 7/8/1998
Jason Smith, Unhomely, Exhibition Catalogue, Artsonje Museum Kyongju and Seoul, Korea, 1998
Anna Clabburn, ‘Sally Smart’s Mind Games’ Australian Art Collector No. 3, 1998, p46-49
Kirsty Grant, “Commission 200 Insects” National Gallery Victoria, Magazine June/July 1998
Adrian Montana, Geelong Art Gallery, Education Kit, 1997
Donald Williams & Colin Simpson Art Now Contemporary Art Post – 1970, McGrawHill, 1996
Sally Smart, ‘Dora Drawer’ exhibition catalogue, Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne, 1996
Charles Green, Exhibition Review, ‘Itchy Itchy’, Art Forum, New York, USA May 1996
Helen McDonald, ‘Feminising the Surreal’ Art and Australia Vol 34, 1996
Robyn McKenzie, ‘In reality, there’s no place like home’, The Age, Melbourne, 24 September 1997
Jenny Zimmer, ‘Sally Smart: Prosthetic Parts’, Imprint, Melbourne, Autumn 1996, vol 31, no 1, p.7-8
Stephanie Radok, ‘Furniture and the body’, The Adelaide Review, Adelaide, May 1996. (p. 28).
Helen McDonald, The Unhomely Body, Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide, 1996
Helen McDonald, ‘Feminism and the Republic’, Vox Reipublicae (eds J Hoorn and DGoodman) 1996
Anna Clabburn, ‘Sally Smart:Itchy Itchy’ Asian Art News, Hong Kong, Nov/Dec 1995,
Robert Lindsay,The Shell Collection of Contemporary Australian Art, Melbourne 1995
Jenny Zimmer, Cut-Outs, Craft Victoria, Winter 1995
Jenny Zimmer, ‘Metaphor in Body Parts’, The Age, Melbourne, 17 May 1995.
Peter Timms, The Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition, (exhibition catalogue), Melbourne, 1995.
Janine Burke, ‘Anima: Feminist art since the seventies’, Art and Australia, vol. 23/ no. 3, Autumn 1995, Fine Arts Press, Sydney, 1995.
Sasha Grishin, Searching for Clues for Interpretation, The Canberra Times, 1994
Amanda King, ‘A secret garden: the work of Sally Smart’, Australian Art
Monthly, November, No. 75, Canberra, 1994, (plus cover illustration).
Amanda King, Delicate Cutting, (exhibition catalogue), Robert Lindsay Gallery, Melbourne, 1994
Peter Timms, The Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1994, (exhibition catalogue), Melbourne1994.

Helen McDonald, ‘Where I come from the birds sing a pretty song’, (exhibition catalogue), Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong, 1992
Amanda King, ‘Sally Smart: Dress’, Agenda, Melbourne, January-February, 1993.
Rebecca Lancashire, ‘Intent on unravelling our patchworked past’, exhibition review, The Age, Melbourne, June 1992.
Christopher Heathcote, exhibition review, The Age, Melbourne, June, 1992.
Helen McDonald, Dress, (exhibition catalogue), Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne, 1992.
Alison Carroll, The Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1992, (exhibition catalogue), Melbourne, 1992.
Ray Edgar, ‘Dress’, exhibition review, The Melbourne Times, Melbourne, June 1992.
Jude Adams, ‘Skin’, exhibition review, Artlink, Vol 12, Adelaide, 1992.
Jyanni Steffensen, Skin, (exhibition catalogue), Contemporary Art Centre of South Australia, Adelaide,1992
Women’s Resource Centre, Nonagon, Nine Australian Women Artists, slide kit, Melbourne 1991 Alison Carroll, The Moët & Chandon Touring Exhibition 1991, (exhibition catalogue), Melbourne 1991.
Helen Topliss, ‘Contemporary Issues: the fifth Moët & Chandon’, Art and Australia, Fine Arts Press, Sydney, Spring 1990.
Graeme Sturgeon, ‘Art: Six names to watch’, Australian Collectors Monthly, Sydney, November- December 1990.
Peter Hennessey and Patricia Piccinini, Sally Smart: The Printed Curtain, (exhibition catalogue),Luba Bilu Gallery, Melbourne, April-May 1990.
Judith Womersley, ‘Great Expectations’, The Sunday Age, Melbourne, 7 January 1990.
Christopher Heathcote, ‘The myth of unified mainstream’,Australian Art Monthly,1989.
Fiona Scott-Norman, ‘House of puzzles’, The Sunday Herald, Melbourne,
19 November 1989.
Scott Brown,‘Sally Smart: X-Ray Vanitas’, exhibition review, Art Beat,
Melbourne, April 1989
Christopher Coventry, X-Ray Vanitas, (exhibition catalogue), Luba Bila Gallery, Melbourne,April 1989.


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra;
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne;
The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide;
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane;
University of Tasmania Collection; Hobart;
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney;
Geelong Art Gallery, Geelong;
Latrobe Valley Regional Gallery, Morwell;
The University of Melbourne Art Collection, Melbourne;
Deakin University Art Collection, Melbourne;
Artbank, Sydney;
Victorian College of the Arts Foundation Collection, Melbourne;
City of St Kilda, St Kilda;
Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga;
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane;
The Vizard Foundation Melbourne;
New Parliament House, Canberra;
The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Melbourne;
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane;
Bendigo Art Gallery, Bendigo;
Banyule Art Collection, Victoria
Mornington Peninsula, Regional Gallery, Victoria;
Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla;
Shepparton Art Gallery, Victoria;
Wollongong City Gallery, Wollongong;
Tarra Warra Museum of Art, Victoria, and
Museum of New and Old Art, Tasmania
Chartwell Collection, Auckland Art Gallery, Toi o Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand;
Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, NY, USA
The William Benton Museum of Art Connecticut’s State Art Museum, USA
British Museum, London, UK
Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt, Germany
International Collage Center, Pennsylvania USA
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand;
Private Collections: Australia, Europe, New Zealand, South America,
United Kingdom and United States of America