Michael Whitehead is recognized as one of Australia’s leading abstract artists.

    His career has spanned almost three decades to date, and even as a child in a country school in northern Victoria, he knew what he wanted to do in life.  He was sure about his need to paint and he has been on this journey of discovery, pushing his creativity, for more than 50 years. 
     
    Michael attended the Bendigo Institute of Technology and graduated with a Diploma of Art and Design majoring in Graphic Design in the mid-seventies. He began his first employment as a graphic artist in a South Melbourne design studio run by a Swiss designer.  It was a great experience for a twenty-year old fresh from college to work in a team that was winning design awards not only in Australia but also in the US and Europe.
     
    Trips to the USA and Mexico beginning in the late seventies and continuing into the nineties, as well as time in South East Asia, continually exposed Michael to art in all forms and added to his desire to explore his own creativity.  During this time, he completed several freelance graphic design works and drawing projects for corporate and private clients.  Michael later worked for the Victorian education department teaching art and photography in secondary colleges.  In the early nineties, he opened a screen-printing studio, which catered to both local and overseas clients.  In 1995, Michael and his family relocated to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
     
    A trip to Eastern Europe through a freezing winter in 2003 provided the spark that led Michael to explore broader boundaries in his work.  Standing inside a 900-year old walled city that has transformed itself into a vibrant capital provided a huge dose of enthusiasm and renewed his creative energy. 
     
    Today, Michael works from his studio in Noosa’s beautiful hinterland, and has moved to the creation of large layered abstracts.  Contemporary works in which each brush stroke challenges the previous one and oil is pitted against acrylic to create deliberate tension, resistance, and intensity. He uses large blocks of colour layered to capture or reflect light or a moody palate where the under-painting appears to be attempting to break through to provide a fleeting glimpse of a secret world beneath.  
     
    “A painting has to be instinctive and have a sense of urgency but yet remain precise”, says Michael. “If paint runs across a canvas it’s because I’m happy for it to go there or I have encouraged it to do so.  Every stroke, every line, is intended to leave a record of its journey.  I strive to have my works exhibit no fear of exposing their inner selves -- the ‘complexity of construction’ if you like -- of how they came to be”.  In his latest series, Michael is experimenting with ‘negative space’ – contrasting his intricate layers against clear space on the canvas in a refreshing new body of work.
     
    Michael is a featured artist in galleries across Australia’s major cities and his work features in private and corporate collections around the world. Collectors of his work have joined Michael’s creative journey and the more they experience his art, the more it seems to reveal itself to them. 
     
    Exhibitions:  
    2016    Fragile Horizon, Jive Art, Noosa Heads, Australia
    2015    The Amber Road, Jive Art Noosa Heads, Australia
                 Kunat Fine Art, Germany
                 Soho Galleries, Chifley Series, Sydney, Australia
     2014    Moonlight Mile, Soho Galleries, Sydney, Australia
                 Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong.
                 Kunat Fine Art, Germany
    2013     Serious Moonlight, Jive Art, Noosa Heads, Australia
                 Silk Road, Gallery One, Southport, Australia
                 Desert Beans, International Food & Wine Festival, Noosa Heads
                 Impulse International, Kunat Gallery, Osnabruck, Germany
    2012     Howling Wind, Jive Art, Noosa Heads, Australia           
    2011     Affinity, Gallery One Southport, Australia
                 Art Melbourne, Victoria
                 In Deep, Jive Art, Noosa Heads
    2010     Exhibition, Gallery One, Southport, Australia
                 Jive Art, Noosa Heads, Australia
    2009     Splendid Isolation, Jive Art, Noosa Heads, Australia
                 Art Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
    2008    Group Show, Libby Edwards Gallery, Brisbane                          
                ‘Book of Dreams’ Exhibition, Gadfly Gallery, Perth Australia
                 Art Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Australia
                 Art Sydney
                ‘Mythical Landscape’ Exhibition, Jive Art Design, Noosa Heads, QLD
                TVH Galleries, Seaforth, New South Wales
                 Art Melbourne, Melbourne Australia
    2006     Art Sydney ’06 Fox Studios, Sydney Australia
                 Art Melbourne, Melbourne Australia
                 Thierry B. Contemporary, Group Show, Melbourne Australia
    2005     Art Gallery Collections, Gold Coast – Group Show May 2005
                 Fox Studios, Sydney Australia
                 Art Melbourne, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne Australia
    2004     Fox Studios, Sydney Australia
                  Melbourne Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne Australia

    Collections:
    Michael’s work is included in many significant corporate and private art collections, and is displayed on public and private spaces around the world.

    Aurru
    Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi
    Conrad Jupiter Casino, Gold Coast, Queensland
    Toll Logistics
    Brico Melbourne
    Nambour General Hospital
    Soul Apartments, Surfers Paradise, Queensland
    Soho Hudson Personnel Melbourne
    Silverwater Resort, San Remo, Victoria
    Titanium Developments, Queensland
    Stockland Developments, Gold Coast
    Soho Boutique, Bendigo
    Taylors Modern Dining Melbourne
    Trades and Patents Office in Canberra
    Adelaide Brighton, Sydney.
    Featured in ‘Rex’ at the Trop Fest short film festival in Sydney.
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