Caspar Fairhall’s eclectic art practice spans painting, works on paper, installation, video and interactivity. Making use of contradictions and paradoxes in visual illusion, Fairhall often looks at the tension between our intuitions of space and time, and what we understand about the world from science. Much of Fairhall’s work seems to question the act of representing space in an image, or how might a space in an image relate to the space and time outside the image, and the act of looking into and at an image. At work in his studio, Fairhall’s methods are reminiscent of traditional Renaissance techniques, as his paintings emerge from intimate studies of form and shape in a process of layering precise detailed drawing. He uses the picture surface as a void from which images are withdrawn using complex, layered paint surfaces and unresolvable pictorial spaces as tools to explore the relationship between pictorial, optical and cosmic space.

Much of Fairhall’s work is derived from his time in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and draws on the ancient banded iron formations of the Hamersly Ranges, which date from the Archean epoch 2.5 billion years ago. Both the sense of deep time and the biological origin of these formations are central concerns of this body of work. More recently, following a four month residency in Basel, Switzerland, he has extend this body of work to examine the geology of the Swiss Alps and the effects of entropy on built structures.

His work is represented in a number of private and public collections, including: the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Artbank, Sydney; the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; The University of Western Australia, Perth; Edith Cowan University, Perth; Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Perth and BankWest, Perth. He won several prizes, including the Cossack Art Award (Best Overall Artwork) in 2012 and the Invited Artist Award in 2013.

Caspar Fairhall is represented by Blockprojects Gallery, Melbourne (formerly NKN) and is a member of Art Collective WA.

— Eugenio Viola and Evana Tanner

Curriculum vitae

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2012 Master of Fine Arts, College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales

1993 Bachelor of Arts (Visual Arts), WA School of Visual Arts, Edith Cowan University

1990 Diploma of Fine Art (Painting), Claremont School of Art


National Gallery of Australia, Artbank, Art Gallery of Western Australia, The University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University,  KPMG, Woodside Energy, BankWest, Chamber of Commerce WA, Horn Collection, Shire of Roebourne, City of Bayswater

Solo exhibitions

2020 Elision, artCollectiveWA, Perth

2019 World, not world, Blockprojects Gallery (formerly NKN), Melbourne

2018 auch in ihnen flimmert Zeit, Salon Mondial, Basel, Switzerland

2018 Nine times the space that measures day and night, Fremantle Arts Centre, Perth

2017 Nine times the space, Gallerysmith Project Space, Melbourne

2016 Below is above, artCollectiveWA, Perth

2015 Accretion Room, Moana Project Space, Perth

2012 Folded cosmos, COFAspace, University of New South Wales, Sydney

2008 Simultaneous, Sequential, Galerie Düsseldorf, Perth

2004 Transmission, Galerie Düsseldorf, Perth

2001 New work, Galerie Düsseldorf, Perth

1998 Projector, Gomboc Gallery, Perth

1996 First solo exhibition, Gomboc Gallery, Perth

Awards, grants, residencies

Expanding the Visual Field, 2019, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

Artsource Global City Residency 2018, Atelier Mondial, Basel, Switzerland

Finalist, Perth Royal Art Prize 2017, Perth

Finalist, Blacktown City Art Prize 2016, Sydney

Cossack Art Award 2013 — Invited Artists category

Cossack Art Award 2012 — Best Overall artwork

City of Bayswater Art Award 2012

Artflight Grant 2015, Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia

Artflight Grant 2006, Department of Culture and the Arts, Western Australia

Selected group exhibitions

2020 Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Whitfords City, Perth

2020 Between the Eye and the Heart, Lost Eden Creative, Dwellingup

2019 Letter from the East, Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, Shenyang, China

2018 Pretty Good Privacy, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

2018 Transenvironmental Exercises, Salon Mondial, Basel, Switzerland

2016 PCWK8, Nyisztor Studio, Perth

2015 Plastic, MOP Projects, Sydney

2015 artCollectiveWA down south, Holmes à Court Gallery, Cowaramup

2014 Artist Open House Fremantle, private residence, Fremantle

2014 City of Busselton Art Award, ArtGeo Gallery, Busselton (commendation)

2014 Minnawarra Art Awards, Armadale District Hall (commendation)

2013 Le Salon Scintillant: Gotham Studios, Moana Project Space

2012 Synechdoches, Moana Project Space

2012 Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Joondalup

2011 4, Galerie Düsseldorf, Perth

2010 Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Joondalup

2009 Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Joondalup

2008 Linden1968, Linden Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne

2006 30 Years On, Galerie Düsseldorf, Perth

2006 Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Lakeside Shopping Centre, Joondalup

2006 Melbourne Artfair, Galerie Düsseldorf booth

2006 Material Witness, Contemporary Art Centre South Australia, Adelaide

2005 Shelf Life, Galerie Düsseldorf (Festival of Perth exhibition), Perth

2004 Invisible Cities, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

2003 BankWest Art Prize, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art

2003 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Annual Art Exhibition, Church Gallery, Perth

2001 House and land package, Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery, Perth

1999 In the studio, from the studio, Galerie Düsseldorf, Perth

1999 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Annual Art Exhibition, Church Gallery, Perth

1997 Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital Annual Art Exhibition

1995 New work, Gomboc Gallery, Perth

1994 52 New, Blaxland Galleries, Sydney

1993 Seven Perth Artists, Gallery Hakuzen, Nagoya City, Japan

1990 Theoria, Delaney Galleries, Perth


Jian, S. (Ed.), “Pretty Good Privacy”, exhibition catalogue, China Academy of Art, 2018

Moore, M., “Passing Time Building Form”, catalogue essay for Below is above, 2016

Buckley, D., “In the accretion room”, catalogue essay for Accretion room, 2015

Elliott, S. and Roberts, D., Closet Circus: Works from the Horn Collection,
Fremantle Press, 2008

Kenneally, C., “Nixonning”, Art Monthly, April 2006

Cook, R., “Test patterns”, Art Monthly, June 2001

Cook, R. “Looking while we’re learning”, Artwords, Issue 8, 1998

Yeoman, W., The West Australian, July 23, 2012

Bevis, S., The West Australian, November 29, 2011

Spencer, R., The West Australian, November 21, 2008

Blond, S. The West Australian, November 6, 2004

Bromfield, D. The West Australian, May 26, 2001

Bromfield, D. The West Australian, May 19, 2001

Bromfield, D. The West Australian, November 6, 1999

Cook, R., The West Australian, July 15, 1996