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One of the most important lessons as an emerging artist, is to learn resilience and persistence. Tracey-Maree Smith has them both!

Often artists must develop their signature style…Tracey has already discovered hers. She continues to develop and refine this style, loving the challenge. An admirable trait.

Tracey’s tactile painting technique involves a thorough planning stage. The future layering of paint must be anticipated, as work will be manipulated during the sand-back. The painting is slowly forged as she works in contemplative stages towards her finished surface and completed work.

In effect, the art is constructed, disassembled, and re-pieced to reveal many a hidden secret from layers past. This process reveals the true gems beneath. Areas of the painting seemingly launch themselves outwards, and the colours are wonderfully intense. These perceptible techniques are balanced by textures and space in her landscape subjects.

In Tracey’s recent work, abstract has given way to semi-abstract. Identifying a form or shape in her art recalls an element of the everyday, such as a tree, water or a recognisable vista.

Tracey is always conscious of the spatial composition in her landscape. Of especial note are the new warm pinks and tangerines in her palette, well balanced with her overall penchant for cooler pastel shades.

Tracey’s world conveys a softness in contrast to the harshness of the Australian landscape that initially inspires her. Is this her romanticism or rose-coloured glasses? She favours an almost undulating palette, her landscapes simply flow with no interruption in shape, form, or tone.

Tracey’s work suggests her compositions’ intensity and impact is growing.

The direction her work is heading is of keen interest to many.
Tracey is an active artist, ever-exploring and advancing.
Something tells me her art and career are about to explode!


Newcastle based contemporary artist Tracey-Maree Smith was recently selected as an Art Gallery NSW 2016 Wynne prize finalist for her work ‘First Creek, Redhead Beach’. The Wynne prize is one of Australia’s most prestigious art awards and awarded for Australia’s best landscape painting. In 2014 Tracey was included in the Saatchi Art 'Showdown'. Tracey has exhibited extensively, with her work hanging in public and private collections.

Tracey’s abstract contemporary works appeal to art collectors, whether it be those seeking a major showpiece for their home, office or an addition to an existing collection.

Tracey Maree Smith art
Kooragang by Tracey-Maree Smith

Tracey Maree Smith art
Tracey-Maree Smith at the Art Gallery of NSW appearing with her Wynne Prize finalist work


Tracey-Maree Smith's work sits somewhere between solid rock and fluid water. Her manipulation of paint and canvas is hard and physical yet the expression of emotion in colour and line is ephemeral.

There is an attempt to portray our emotional reality and that which lies beneath—our raw, exposed humanity—the spectrum between despair and elation laid bare.
Our emotional landscape and the natural landscape, constantly in a state of flux, are intrinsically tied. They sit together on canvas, a momentary snapshot of our current state of being.

Tracey, like most artists, works in a studio that is sequestered from her home, her children, her redhead beach landscape. It is simply a shed, out the back, that you sneak up to from a narrow, plant encroached, side pathway. It seems peaceful and a suitable approach to what one might find in a movie, about an artist.

You might think that there would be easels and paint brushes, lovely images of inspiration stuck on the wall. but not in here. Here you are privy to big canvas, large tins of paint, smashes of paint on walls and floors (like you've stepped inside a Pollock) and discarded scatterings of industrial personal protective clothing, face masks, extension cords and her paint brush. An electric handheld sander.

This is where Tracey’s hard, industrial process becomes a blurred realisation of canvas as sculpture, and sculpture as canvas and the artists own physicality is inherent in the work. Her emotion and reaction to environment, as an extension of her physicality lies here too, beneath the paint, beneath the obvious. Look closer, and you'll see a universe behind the limitations of the frame.

Jodie Duddington - Interior Designer, 2017


What Lies Beneath’ is a metaphorical depiction of landscape, representing layers of history, hope, challenge and perseverance. I paint layer over convoluted layer, then begin to peel them back, leaving remnants and traces of what lay before.

I see this in my own life and my own need to peel back layers of protection or personality to find myself. This is an ongoing process and sometimes I find gems hidden beneath the surface and sometimes I still find aspects of myself that I want to cover up again.

I paint intuitively based on feelings, connection and emotion. My work has a soul of it’s own — I am merely a conduit for some greater creative force that needs to express itself.
This creative force is usually linked to my feelings about a certain time within certain landscapes.

I think that the one thing I can always remember about my life is the landscape I was in any particular time.
I don’t feel like a have any connection to a place but rather to landscape. I spent part of my childhood in Moree and Collarenebri, Narrabri and I feel this gave me a feeling of connectedness to the dry, sometimes arid, hot and expansive country. I don’t feel as though I own any part of the landscape but I am a part of her and it is probably where I feel most at home. I’d say it is where I feel truly connected to who I really am.

This quote from Tim Winton sums up my feelings perfectly: “ The place comes first and the people come second and in a sense that only reflects reality. This country was here long before people. It has a huge impact on people because it's bigger than us. There's more of it than us and there probably always will be and it's changed us. It's changed us beyond recognition from our origins.” - Tim Winton.


Discover more about represented artist Tracey-Maree Smith by reviewing his artist profile and major works here.


The digital exhibition catalogue can be downloaded here.


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