* Shaelene Murray | Stanley Street Gallery

* Shaelene Murray

Shaelene Murray’s work combines strength and fragility: the familiarity of domestic objects investigated with humour and a piercing mathematical sensibility. Toys, clothing, kitchenware are all deconstructed and reconstructed, often using unlikely juxtapositions and industrial materials such as stainless steel wire. The work is labour-intensive and time-consuming, a meditative process which may take 10 months to complete a single work. Her practice also includes smaller jewellery & sculptural works, currently held in stock by Stanley Street Gallery.

In her work ‘Blossom”, chosen as a finalist for the Wynne Prize 2013, a filigree tutu sits on a coathanger….delicate, diaphanous, feminine. Closer inspection reveals not only the immense amount of handwork within the piece, but also the hardness and dull lustre of the stainless steel wire, coaxed into a textile. For Murray, this work “was inspired by a girl child bullied because of her short hair and her preference for wearing shorts instead of dresses. ….I saw an elderly woman regarding (the work) with such intensity, I couldn't tell what she saw; her own history, her mother's, her child's or grandchild's history. I was too shy to ask for the story”. More recent work includes ‘Kin’ 2017, a mother and child depicted via their knitted garments, included in the Stanley Street group show “On Point’.

Murray says of her work “ I choose my materials and processes for the readings they impart and the emotional response they trigger. I hope to show that strength and fragility can co-exist, that women are more complex than the labels given by society. The 'domestic arts' are no longer an area of mainstream feminist theory. We live in a consumer driven world of the throw away. I use history, process and context to elevate the domestic above the everyday into art.’

Shaelene Murray holds a B.A (Vis Art) from SCA, University of Sydney, has had 5 solo exhibitions and many group exhibitions, has been selected as a finalist in national art awards such at the Wynne Art Prize 2013 and the Kennedy Prize 2014, and has work held in international and national collections. Shaelene Murray is represented by Stanley Street Gallery.


Available Work


Group Exhibitions

 On Point 13th - 30th September 2017 


The complexities of the mother/child relationship are endless. Each by their presence, absence, will or need, cut and sow the fabric of our lives.

‘a mother’s love for her child is like nothing else in the world. It knows no law, no pity. It dares all things and crushes down remorselessly all that stand in its path.’ - Agatha Christie

Yet these are the women who paradoxically and pragmatically both instil and comfort our fears.

Shaelene Murray, Kin  - Stainless Steel and Timber Photo: Silversalt

Shaelene Murray, Kin - Stainless Steel and Timber Photo: Silversalt

Portraits 5th August - 29th August 2015

'Feather' is the sculpture of a young woman, a teenager on the brink of maturity. Feather's beauty, allied with her making, is a multi layered process. As viewers, we may be socially complicit in acknowledging only her immediate physical presence. Do we have the foresight to look to each 'stitch' invested in her make up and see her hidden beauty? The work asks us to recognise the complexity of potential; that awe and wonder of the self Feather may become when she has the ability and strength to fly.

At its inception, the Heirloom series was founded on the humorous collision of evolutionary theory and fashion. At its ending, these two pieces 'Blossom' (2013) and 'Feather' (2014), in their own evolutionary process, stand as witness to the potential of the girl child.

Made from stainless steel, the works' delicacy and beauty belies their strength. The unwary audience is tempted to acknowledge only the surface or skin of these two girls. Their beauty and their conformity is as metaphorical as steel-these traits socially compel, restrain and support the ideal of 'beautiful' skin.

Over Your Head - 13th August - 6th September 2014


Shaelene Murray - 'Extensions' Series, Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel, coloured 'special elastic bands - $500 (far left), $1500 (top), $2700 (far right)

Shaelene Murray - 'Extensions' Series, Sterling Silver, Stainless Steel, coloured 'special elastic bands - $500 (far left), $1500 (top), $2700 (far right)

Solo Exhibition - A Tracing of Tread


A Tracing of Thread -Shaelene Murray - 17th April – 11th May 2013 - Click here for more information on the exhibition





1992-1995 Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours, First Class) Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney
1991Creative Jewellery, Randwick TAFE, Sydney NSW
1988Post-Certificate, Ceramics, East Sydney TAFE, NSW
1987Ceramics Certificate, East Sydney TAFE, NSW

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013   A Tracing of Thread, Stanley Street Gallery, Darlinghurst NSW  2010
2005 Bouquet, La Trobe Regional Gallery, Melbourne, Victoria
2005 Iconic Inversion, Glass Art Society Conference, Lions Art Centre, Adelaide, South Australia
1998 Home on the Range, Centre for Contemporary Craft, Customs House, Sydney, NSW
1995 New Professional Grant Exhibition, Craftspace, The Rocks, Sydney NSW

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014  Finalist Kennedy Prize - SA
2013  Wynne Prize – finalist, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
2009 Soft Sculpture, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
2004 Sister Sister, Lake Macquarie Regional Gallery, Lake Macquarie, NSW
2003 City of Hobart Art Prize, Hobart TAS
2002 Bag that! Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie, NSW
2002 Guild Unlimited, touring to Edinburgh College of Art, Edinburgh UK for the Craft in the Twenty First Century; Theorising Change and Practice conference
1998 Past Tense – Future Perfect, National Emerging Artists’ Show, Craft West and Fremantle Arts Centre for Contemporary Craft, Customs House, Sydney NSW
1992 Wearable Glass, Asa Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
1991 Fifth International Triennial of Ceramics, Sopot, Poloan
1990 National Ceramics Award Exhibition, Canberra, ACT


East Sydney Technical College
International and National Private Collections Many Gallery, NSW
The Barbara and Oscar Feldman Collection, Detroit, MI, USA

Career Development

2000   Emerging Artist, Speaker, Glass Art Society of America Conference, Long Island University, Brooklyn, New York, USA