Lionel Bawden – Biography

Lionel Bawden’s practice encompasses performance, installation, and painting though he is most recognized for his core sculptural practice, which exploits hexagonal Staedtler pencils as a sculptural material. These sculptures allude to nature, topographies, and anthropomorphic forms and are rich in colour, geometry, and metaphor.1


Described as visually minimal and accessible, Bawden’s works are conceptually complex, and draw from a varied range of sources. Bawden has been inspired by everything from microbiology, classic science fiction, to nature documentaries. Each of his sculptural works makes reference to the body in some way, using landscape as a stand-in for the body, as a reference to physical memory, and the way humans perceive the world.2


“I create objects where the duration of engagement is carried in the physical object with some resonance or echo of the labour held within the work,” states Bawden.3 This statement is easily recognizable in the artist’s impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail, with each of his composite sculptures speaking to the artist’s process, time, and devotion.


Lionel Bawden was born in Auburn, NSW in 1974 and currently lives and works in Northern NSW, Australia. Bawden has a Bachelor of Visual Arts with Honours (painting) from the Australian National University Institute of the Arts, Canberra School of Art, Canberra (1997).


Bawden has participated in many solo and group exhibitions including: burster flipper wobbler dripper spinner stacker shaker maker, Christchurch Gallery, New Zealand (2014); and monstor pop!: the monstrous side of Indonesian and Australian contemporary art, Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Darwin (2015). Bawden’s work is held in several important collections in Australia including the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.



  1. Reilly, Maura. “Crossing Over.” The World of the Surface: Lionel Bawden, Frey Norris, 2011, pp. 4.
  2. Perram, Richard. 3d x 5. Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, 2009, pp. 1.
  3.  “Introducing: Lionel Bawden.” Manuscript, 01, Summer 2011-2012, pp. 20.


Full CV