Philip Wolfhagen – Biography

Philip Wolfhagen’s work is decidedly about place, the physicality of nature, its history and feeling. Drawing inspiration from his roots in Tasmania, Wolfhagen’s ethereal paintings speak to a connection with his country where landscape is everything.1


Described as melancholy, twilight, ominous, Wolfhagen’s works are neither dark nor depressing, but have a somber peacefulness to them. His lonely-looking landscapes are almost abstracted; imaginary places conjured from memory to replicate not the landscape itself, but the feeling of being immersed in it.2


“My painting is about connectedness with place and connection to the natural world,”3 states Wolfhagen. His carefully constructed canvasses are rigorously planned in minute detail from internal geometry to colour to size. In the solitude of his studio, Wolfhagen communicates with nature to create landscapes that are imbued with history and meaning: imagined though they may be, they speak to the force that the Australian landscape exerts on those who have called it home.4


Philip Wolfhagen was born in Tasmania in 1963 where he continues to live and work. Wolfhagen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Centre for the Arts, the University of Tasmania, Hobart (1987) and a Graduate Diploma of Visual Arts from the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney (1990).


Wolfhagen has participated in many solo and group exhibitions including: When the Ocean Turns to Dust, Campbelltown Arts Centre, NSW (2015); Illumination: the art of Philip Wolfhagen, touring exhibition (2014); and Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London, England (2013). Wolfhagen’s work is held in many significant collections in Australian including the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Newcastle Art Gallery, NSW, Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra and the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.



  1. Mocatta, Gabi. Philip Wolfhagen: Looking for the perfect cloud. Bett Gallery Hobart, 2007.
  2. Herring, Freya. “Landscape of memory.” Country Style, March 2015, pp. 23-25.
  3. Mocatta, Gabi. Philip Wolfhagen: Looking for the perfect cloud. Bett Gallery Hobart, 2007.
  4. Johnson, Sarah. “The studio as sanctuary,” Illumination: The art of Philip Wolfhagen. Newcastle Art Gallery and Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, 2013, pp. 99-100.


Full CV