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Kathrin Longhurst was born in communist East Germany. A classically trained figurative painter, she began attending life drawing classes at the age of fourteen.  When she was just fifteen, her family escaped from ‘behind the iron curtain’, relocating to Sweden. This jarring transition from a totalitarian regime to a democracy sparked Kathrin’s passion for exploring the concepts of freedom of speech and expression, concepts that continue to thread through her work today.

After travelling widely throughout Europe, Asia and America, Kathrin settled in Sydney with her Australian husband.  She went on to work prolifically, showing her first solo exhibition in 2004, becoming well known for her portraits of beautiful women in military attire, draped with symbols of communist propaganda.

Extensive travel provided Kathrin with a unique perspective on the role of women in the media, her more recent works referencing not only communist propaganda but also the power of advertising in our lives under a capitalist system.  Her skilfully rendered subjects layer themes of sexuality and freedom, both seducing and challenging the viewer with their ruby lips, luminous bare skin and confronting gaze to illustrate her message that, ‘Propaganda is all around us.  It’s not specific to a period of time, a country or a regime…it’s everywhere’.

We are reminded of the power and defiance of the women that her work represents, as well as the suffering that women have endured, and continue to endure, as they fight for justice. The epochal moment of #MeToo is reflected in the work of Kathrin Longhurst, and so much more. This exhibition captures defiance and power: true feminine and feminist qualities. It is for this reason that Kathrin’s work has never been more important, both visually and philosophically.’
Excerpt of Into Thin Air exhibition essay by Professor James Arvanitakis

Kathrin served as vice president for Portrait Artists Australia for some years and was the founder and director of the innovative Project 504, an art space in Sydney. She has been a finalist in numerous awards including the prestigious Portia Geach Award (2017, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011), the Doug Moran Portrait Prize (2017), the Sulman Prize (2012), the Mosman Art Prize (2016), the Shirley Hannan National Portrait Prize, the Korea Australia Arts Foundation Prize and the WA Black Swan Prize. Her work is collected widely in Australia and internationally.

Represented by

Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary Sydney

Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

Gallery One, Gold Coast

Selected Exhibitions


  • Finalist Doug Moran National Portrait Prize 2017
  • Finalist Sir John Sulman Prize 2012
  • Finalist Percival Portrait Award 2016
  • Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Prize 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017 (winner people’s choice award)
  • Finalist Black Swan Prize 2008, 2009,
  • Finalist Mosman Art Prize 2009, 2012, 2016
  • Finalist Shirley Hannan National Portrait Award 2008,
  • Finalist Korea Australia Arts Foundation Art Prize 2013, 2017
  • Finalist Willoughby Art Prize 2003


 Solo Exhibitions:

  • 2018 Solo Show, Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary, Sydney
  • 2018 “Into Thin Air”, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2016 “Fading History”, Nanda/Hobbs Contemporary, Sydney
  • 2014 “Heroes and Villains”, Art Equity, Sydney
  • 2013 “Women of the Revolution”, Catherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2013 “Children of the Revolution”, Art Equity, Sydney
  • 2012 “Dear Comrade…”, Catherine Asquith Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2008 “Dreams from Down Under” Dabbert Gallery, Florida
  • 2007 “Intimately”, SOHO Galleries, Sydney
  • 2006 Arthouse Hotel, Sydney
  • 2006 Tighes Hill Gallery, Newcastle
  • 2006 “La Belle Vie”, SOHO Gallery, Sydney
  • 2004 “Divas”, Salmon Galleries, Sydney


Group Exhibitions:

  • 2018 “About Peace” Maitland Regional Gallery, Hunter Valley
  • 2018 “Animation Reimagined” Modern Eden, San Francisco
  • 2017 “in Your Face”, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
  • 2017 “International Artist Grand Prix”, Get Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2015 Project [504], Sydney, NSW
  • 2015 “Brave New World”, Nanda/Hobbs, Sydney
  • 2010 “Divine Femme”, Astras Galleries, Gold Coast
  • 2008 Manyung Gallery, Mornington Peninsula
  • 2008 David Hart Galleries, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
  • 2007 David Hart Galleries, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
  • 2006 “Contemporary Figures”, Dabbert Gallery, Florida
  • 2005 “Looking inwards” Salmon Gallery, Sydney
  • 2004 “Figures, Faces and Landscapes” Tighes Hill Gallery, Newcastle
  • 2003 “Introducing the new SAUC”, SAUC Gallery, Sydney
  • 2003 “Splash” Manly Arts Festival, BASE Space, Sydney
  • Exhibiting with Portrait Artists Australia 2008 – 2013
  • Affordable Art Show/Art Sydney 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
  • Affordable Art Show Melbourne 2004

Contact Details:

Kathrin Longhurst

Phone: +61 4 111 44 893