Kate Gradwell British, Australian, b. 1972-


Kate was originally educated as a scientist and in 1997 was awarded a PhD in Chemistry from Oxford University. Kate has been painting full time since 2016. Rather than pursuing a formal art school education, she sought out inspiring and talented artists to learn from, and further developed her skills through her own exploration and rapidly growing knowledge of her materials and process.


Kate’s art practice is predominantly focused on people and place. Her portraiture seeks to capture the true character of the individuals she chooses to paint. Kates landscape work explores the play of light and colour in the natural world and is where her main passion lies. 


In 2016 Kate was selected for the Portia Geach Memorial Award for Portraiture with a portrait of Professor Attila Brungs, and in 2019 she was selected as a finalist in the Archibald Prize for her portrait of Professor Michael McDaniel.  Her landscape work has been selected to hang in the Northern Beaches, Bluethumb and Hunters Hill Art Prizes, amongst others. She held her first solo exhibition ‘A Moment in Time’ at the end of 2020 at Brenda Colahan Fine Art (BCFA) in Putney. Kate’s second solo exhibition ‘Close to Home’ was held at the end of 2021. Kate has also been recognised as being one of only 50 ‘Collectable’ artists on Australia’s top online art gallery platform Bluethumb out of over 11,000 artists across Australia and was named by them as one of the top 10 best new emerging Australian artists for 2021.


Kate takes commissions, both public and private, and has works hanging in collections in Australia (including in the University of Sydney and UTS collections), North America, Europe and Asia.



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2022 Affordable Art Fair, Sydney. Brenda Colahan Fine Art

2022  In Our Nature Online group show curated by The Brush Artists

2021  New Narratives Group show, Sydney Road Gallery

2021 Close to Home, Brenda Colahan Fine Art

2019 Archibald Prize finalist

2019 Northbridge Art Prize finalist and winner of the Derivan Matisse Award for Excellence

 in Acrylics

2019 Northern Beaches Art Prize finalist

2017 Northern Beaches Art Prize finalist

2016 Portia Geach Memorial Portrait Award finalist

2016 Warringah Art Prize finalist

2016 Hunters Hill Art Exhibition finalist

2016 Kirribilli Art Prize finalist



2019 Commission from UTS to paint the official portraits of the Chancellor and Vice-


2018 Commission from University of Sydney to paint a portrait of Associate Professor Ruth Gall – now hanging in main lecture theatre in the School of Chemistry

2018-19 Further 18 private individual portrait painting and drawing commissions and 6 landscape commissions.



2021 Finalist, Bluethumb Art Prize

2020 Finalist, Northern Beaches Art Prize

2020 Finalist, Carlingford Art Prize

2020 Finalist, Moonee Valley Art Prize

2019 Finalist, Northern Beaches Art Prize

2019 Finalist, Northbridge Art Prize, Winner of Excellence in Acrylics 2019 Finalist, Archibald Prize 2016 Finalist, Warringah Art Prize

2016 Finalist, Hunters Hill Art Prize

2016 Finalist, Portia Geach Portrait award

2016 Finalist, Kirribilli Art Prize Collections Three portraits currently on loan to University Technology of Sydney, including ‘Yindyamarra’ Portrait of Associate Professor Ruth Gall commissioned by University of Sydney, 2018



‘Portrait’, Art and Words 2020, published by Northern Beaches Council and Manly Art Gallery ‘Killarney Heights Mum a 2019 Archibald Finalist’ 2019, Daily Telegraph, North Shore Times