Alison Mackay’s painting practice includes portraiture, still life and landscape works in oil.
Her work is exploratory and painterly:

“Although I am interested in capturing a sense or feel of the sitter in my portraits, I am equally interested in the painting itself,’ she explains. “So I’m focused as much on maintaining spontaneity, excitement and vibrant paint marks in the work as I am on creating a likeness.”

Her portrait-based work has particularly developed over the last 5 years with recent showings as a finalist in the Portia Geach Memorial Award (3 times), Black Swan Portrait Prize (Perth – 2 times), The Percival Portrait Prize (Townsville) and most recently the Archibald Prize 2018.


Solo and 2 Person Exhibitions: 2016 “STILL” Recent still life paintings at Weswal Gallery, Tamworth
2015/2016 “After Olley” Shoalhaven City Arts Centre & Regional Gallery
2013 “Inside/Out” Milk Factory Gallery, Bowral
2011 Glass Gallery, Milk Factory, Bowral “Objective”
2009 Locavore, Huskisson “Everything… and the Kitchen Sink”
2005-2008 Jervis Bay Kiosk, “Mostly Flowers” “59 Apples…” “Cut from Above” “Immersion & Observation”

Selected Group & Joint Exhibitions: 2018 Archibald prize – finalist
2018 The Percival Portrait Painting Prize and The Gallipoli Art Prize – Finalist
2017 Portia Geach Memorial Prize and NSW Parliament’s Plein Air Prize – finalist
2017 Doug Moran Portrait Prize – semi-finalist
2017 HOMESCAPES – 3 person show curated by Amber Creswell Bell at St Cloche, Sydney
2017 STILL – National Still Life Award – finalist
2017 The Gallipoli Art Prize, the Waverley Woollahra Art Prize and the Black Swan Portrait Prize – Finalist
2016 ‘The Nature of Things’ 3-person still life show at FORM Gallery, Queanbeyan.
2016 ‘Spring Fever’ Group show at Defiance Gallery Sydney October 2016
2016 NSW Parliament’s Plein Air painting award and The Gallipoli Art Prize – Finalist
2016 Summer Exhibition, The Milk Factory, Bowral
2015 The 50th Anniversary Portia Geach Memorial Award – Finalist
2015 The Gallipoli Art Prize, Sydney – Finalist
2015 ‘Private Lives: The Artists as Collector’ Group exhibition at SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney
2014 Fisher’s Ghost Award, Campbelltown – Winner Traditional section
2014 “The Meaning of (still) Life Defiance Gallery Sydney
2014 “Stuck Together” Defiance Gallery, Sydney
2014 NSW Parliament’s Plein Air Painting Prize and the Gallipoli Art Prize – Finalist
2014 ‘Animalia’ International Print Exchange Exhibition at ‘Il Bisonte’ Florence, Italy 7-30 May 2014
2014 Summer Exhibition at the Gate Gallery Wollombi (courtesy of Defiance Gallery Sydney)
2013 Eutick Memorial Still Life Award (EMSLA) Coffs Harbour – Finalist
2013 Still Life group exhibition at The Gate Gallery Wollombi (courtesy Defiance Gallery Sydney)
2013 Mosman Art Prize, Waverley Woollahra Art Prize and the Cowra Calleen Art Award – Finalist
2013 “Please Be Seated” Defiance Gallery, Sydney
2012 Black Swan Prize for Portraiture (WA) – Finalist, Mosman Art Prize – Finalist, EMSLA Still life – Finalist
2012 BDAS Pirtek Still Life Prize, Bowral – Commended
2012 Waverley Art Prize, Sydney – Winner, Works on Paper Prize
2012 “Under a Grand” Rex-Livingston Gallery, Sydney
2012 “Larapinta Exhibition”(travelling exhibition) Moree Plains and Shoalhaven Regional Galleries
2011 “The Larapinta Exhibition” Defiance Gallery, Sydney
2011 Portia Geach Memorial Award, S H Ervin Gallery, Sydney – Finalist 2010 “NEW” – Bungendore Wood Works Gallery, Bungendore 2009 Shoalhaven Arts Society Exhibition, Nowra – Winner Still Life prize 2008-9 Wollongong City Gallery 30th Anniversary Exhibition, Wollongong 2008 Mortimore Prize Exhibition, Dubbo – Finalist 2008 Stanthorpe Prize Exhibition, Stanthorpe – Finalist 2007 Whyalla Prize Exhibition, Whyalla (SA) – Finalist