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bio

Lara Merrett’s colour-rich paintings have been compared to the romantic painters of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries–both imagine geographies of space, atmosphere and physicality. For Merrett, it’s the ‘inquiry into the picture plane and surface, balance of ink and acrylic, of depth and opacity, chaos with order and the reference to otherness’ that inspire her works.

Travels through India and Spain as a young artist have also informed merrett’s amorphous and organic arrangements, which are realised through the layering and pouring of water-based materials directly onto the canvas. No work is ever pre-planned; ‘it’s like magic when the unexpected starts to happen. I love it–it’s completely intoxicating. From start to completion, a work can take anywhere from three days to six months. Each work has its own personality and therefore takes its own time.’

Merrett studied painting abroad at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain, before completing a bachelor of fine arts and master of arts at the college of fine arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney. She has recently been commissioned for various projects at the Victorian Tapestry Workshop for St Michael’s church, Melbourne and the Sofitel hotel, Melbourne, and is represented in numerous private and public collections including the University of New South Wales, the Bundanon Estate, Artbank and the Macquarie Bank and the UBS collections.

Merrett currently lives and works in Sydney.


Lara has also participated in numerous group exhibitions including The Shilo Project, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne (2009/10); Turbulent Terrain, Latrobe Regional Gallery, Melbourne(and touring) (2009/10); Newtown Diaries, Delmar Gallery, Sydney (2009); An Ever Expanding Universe, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Perth (2008); Décor, Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne (2008); ABN AMRO Emerging Artist Award, ABN AMRO Melbourne & Sydney (2007); Against the Amnesiac Lifestyle Showroom, Gertrude Contemporary Art Spaces, Melbourne (2006); Portable model of… Plimsoll Gallery, Hobart and La Trobe Regional Gallery, Victoria (2005); Arrival/Departure, Bus Gallery Melbourne, collaboration with John Nicholson (2003); Helen Lemprière Traveling Art Scholarship, Artspace, Sydney (2002 and 1999); New Painting, Coffs Harbour Regional Art Gallery, New South Wales (2002); Fisher Ghost Festival Contemporary Art Award, Campbelltown City Art Gallery, New South Wales (2002 and 1996); and New Acquisitions,The Sir Hermann Black Gallery, University of Sydney (2000). She has received various grants and awards such as The Freedman Foundation Traveling Scholarship for Emerging Artists (2001) and Willoughby City Art Prize (2001).


Lara has recently been commissioned for various projects at the Australian Tapestry Workshop for St Michaels Church, Melbourne (2010), and the Sofitel Hotel, Melbourne (2009), and is represented in the collections of the University of New South Wales, Sydney; the Bundanon Estate; Artbank, Melbourne; RACV; Sofitel Hotel; Macquarie Bank and UBS, Australia.