Back to list of artists

Ken Searle Artist Page

Click for larger image

Type of work
Painting, figurative


KEN SEARLE grew up around the Cooks River, in the south-west suburbs of Sydney, where he still lives. He is best known for his large works in oil on canvas, depicting the suburban and industrial areas of a number of Australian cities. These include 'Newtown' (1978), 'Bowden/Brompton' (1981), 'North Geelong' (1995), 'Ballarat' (1998) and 'Newtown Revisited' (1999).

A self-taught artist, in the mid 1970s Ken Searle began regularly exhibiting works in oil on canvas at Watters Gallery in Sydney, where he has held thirteen solo exhibitions. He has also held exhibitions at a number of commercial galleries in Melbourne, and at various regional galleries. His paintings are held in the collections of the Australian National Gallery, the Art Gallery of South Australia, the National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales as well as regional galleries and private collections.

In regard to his aims, Ken Searle has said that he sees his city paintings 'as maps, and also as portraits. My aim is to portray place, and the people who are part of that place'. The members of an urban community make their own interpretation of their place through time (past and present) by the overlapping ways in which they organise and utilise public and private spaces. In this way, a city is a vast living communal artwork. Searle sees his task as selecting representative images of this artwork and reassembling them within a frame.

Ken Searle's method is to 'walk into a painting, letting the area itself shape the form and content of the portrayal'. As he sketches and paints on site, he picks up the area's interpretation of itself. This is reflected in the compositions done back in the studio.

STAR-SHOWERS recent paintings - opens Wednesday 4th November at 6pm, 2009

2009: Mindscapes and the Australian Outback with Euan Macleod, Rod McRae and Ken Searle

Exhibition 2008 - Introspection - new drawings New etchings


Exhibition 2007 About Headland

Exhibition 2004

previous works