STUDIO: Australian Painters on the Nature of Creativity is a book, DVD and exhibition project that showcases 61 of Australia’s most respected and important painters working in their studio environment. The project began in 2002 and came to fruition in July 2007 with a book and exhibition launch at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. The exhibition spent the next 7 years touring 23 state and regional galleries and became the longest running exhibition in Australian history. By the end of its tour in 2014 it had been seen by over 130,000 visitors.
The selection of artists was made with the aim of representing a broad cross-section of men and women working in a variety of styles, from abstraction to the most exacting realism, as well as a representative group of Aboriginal painters. Large photographic portraits by National Geographic photographer R. Ian Lloyd examined and illustrated the artist’s working environment, whether it was an inner city loft, a kitchen table or the sandy earth of the Outback. How this space affected and inspired individual creativity was the subject of a text by John McDonald, art critic for the Sydney Morning Herald, and former Head of Australian Art at the National Gallery of Australia.