Shan Richards

Shan Richards Biography

Sydney based Artist and Designer, Shan Richards, has spent several years exploring different mediums from photography and painting, graphics, to fashion and couture design, experimenting with these techniques together to create her works. Focusing on the art of couture and draping, drawing on traditional techniques of haute couture, she produced beautifully hand crafted designs for private clientele. Shan’s fascination with the concept of manipulating fabrics into intricate 3D pleated “sculptural” works, took her into a direction where she explored the relationship between the techniques of draping with painting. Drawing on this concept, she experimented with the deconstruction of these 3d forms back into a 2D painting, creating ‘fabricated’ illusions of depths and forms, heightening the effect by applying rich vivid colours.

A born artist, with intense curiosity of all things creative, Shan graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor in Fashion Design, after studying at both East Sydney Design Studio & The Whitehouse Institute of Design. Following graduation, Shan worked commercially in Sydney as a Designer for Champion Sportswear, Brand Manager for Sergio Tacchini Australia, Product Designer/Developer for various other brands, while continuing her studies in Studio Painting and producing commissioned artworks. She decided it was time to focus solely on her art and couture design. Shan studied in Chicago, at the Chicago Art Institute (studio painting program) before heading to the UK. She acquired a beautiful painting studio residence above the picturesque, Marylebone High Street, London, drawing on the inspiration of ‘the hidden wonder of the West End’. While living in London, she developed a deep love and fascination of travel, exploring amazing cultures, and discovering exotic landscapes all on her doorstep. Shan endeavoured to capture and reflect these experiences in her photography and paintings.

On returning to Australia, she prepared for her first debut solo show held at Gauge Gallery, Glebe in June 2015, where she produced a collection of works reflecting all her worlds coming together; fashion, art, photography, love of colour and her endless wanderlust for travel.

Today, her artworks draw on inspiration gained through her travels, experiencing the remarkable uplifting colours the world has on offer, focusing on these beautiful, vivid hues to capture and create vibrant, expressive artworks.

Shan’s current works explore the dynamics and elegance of nature, landscapes and forms, fabricating an illusion to conjure the realms of our imaginations. Understanding the powerful effects colour has, she endeavours to enchant the viewer, and trigger positive emotions with her rich hues.

By applying surreal abstraction, she strives to develop forms that do not always follow logical criteria, inciting the viewer to make new personal associations. Questioning the concept of movement, enhanced using these vibrant and positive colours, she creates intense personal moments, inviting the viewers to develop their own relationship with her works, leaving them feel uplifted and invigorated.


2009: The Art Institute of Chicago: Advance Painting Studio, Summer Degree

2003: Bachelor of Fashion Design: Whitehouse Institute of Design Sydney NSW,Australia

2000-2002 Diploma of Fashion Design: East Sydney TAFE: The Design Studio Sydney, NSW Australia

1997-2009 Balmain Art School: Intensive Study in Painting

2003-2006: AECUDE: Intensive study in Haute Couture. Sydney NSW,Australia


2016, Solo: Wander ~ Lust ~ Colour, Loco Project Pop up gallery, Bondi Beach, Sydney, NSW Australia

2016 Group exhibition: Cancer Council Breakthrough Art Festival: Ambush Gallery, Chippendale Sydney, NSW Australia

2016: Group exhibition & Open studios, May Street Studios, St Peters, Sydney, NSW Australia

2016: Showcase: RAW Sydney FUTURES, Manning bar, Sydney, Sydney, NSW Australia

2016: International All Women online Art Exhibition: Special Merit Prize & Special Recognition Prize

2015: Group exhibition: Loco Project Glebe Pop up exhibition, Glebe, Sydney, NSW Australia

2015: Group exhibition: Fresh Batch, Platform72, Chippendale, Sydney, NSW Australia

2015: Group exhibition: 20/20 Vision, Gauge Gallery, Glebe, Sydney, NSW Australia

2015: Solo: The Colour in Everything, Gauge Gallery, Glebe, Sydney, NSW Australia

2012: The Garvan Institute, All Ribbons Ball, Charity Auction

2009: Balmain Art School Group Exhibition, NSW Australia

2005: Sydney Esquisse Exhibition: Exhibiting couture design & paintings

2005: Kempsey Shire Art Exhibition, NSW Australia, Finalist

2005: Lloyd Rees Memorial Youth Art Award, Finalist

2004: Student of the Year Award: Powerhouse Museum Exhibition, NSW Australia; Women’s evening couture collection

2000: Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Australia: Art Express Exhibition