Artist profile

Megan French

  • Abstract
  • Painting

Hayley, residing on Dharug land in Sydney's west, believes in the importance of engaging with our local surroundings with wonder and critical attention amidst a globally disenchanting backdrop.

As an artist, Hayley explores painting, shifting between abstraction and representation, while also incorporating photography, drawing, and writing to document her home. She appreciates painting's ability to foster intimacy and slowness, facilitating meaningful conversations between different ideas and experiences.

Hayley's ongoing projects, including 'The Pipeline,' 'Suburban Line Paintings,' and 'Walking Paths,' serve as a collective portrait of the suburbs she inhabits. These works contribute to the discourse surrounding the significance of suburbia in the Australian imagination.

In addition to her artistic endeavors, Hayley writes, curates, and holds the position of Curator and Artist Development at Parramatta Artists' Studios. She completed her PhD on Australian Painting in 2015 and occasionally conducts fieldwork research in Cultural Economics at Macquarie University. Her written works have been published in various publications, including Sydney Review of Books, ADSR Zine, Art Collector Magazine, Eyeline Contemporary Visual Arts Journal, and Semaphore. Hayley frequently exhibits in artist-run, regional, and commercial galleries across Australia and is represented by Alexandra Lawson Gallery in Toowoomba.

Hayley Megan French
Body of work

Hayley's Artworks ( 18 )

Career Highlights

- Solo exhibition: Within Walking Distance, The Condensery, Somerset Regional Gallery, September 2022

- PhD: See Where it Drifts; The Influence of Aboriginal Art on an Australian Ontology of Painting, 2015, Sydney College of the Arts, awarded the CHASS Australia (Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences) Student Prize

- National Touring Exhibition: Legacy: Reflections on Mabo, co-curated by Gail Mabo, Dr Jonathan McBurnie and Kellie Williams, 2019-2023

What medium do you work with, and why have you chosen them?

I work primarily in painting, moving between abstraction and representation. I make paintings because I love the way paintings make me feel – both experiencing them and in making them. I love the capacity of painting to create an intimacy and stillness that can communicate ideas, hold complexities, and inspire reflection. Painting is a conceptual medium which allows me to move between different styles and methodologies in order to best explore my ideas.

How does your artwork get from initial concept to exhibition stage?

My practice is iterative; the same processes of walking, photographing, drawing and painting are repeated and result in the development of new bodies of work. This allows me to consider ideas of home, suburbia, landscape and belonging through different methods of abstraction, figuration and writing.

Can you tell us a little more about your creative working environment/studio?

I work from my home in Western Sydney. In my home studio I am surrounded by books, those I have read and many I have not; and artworks I have collected. This space, and my surrounding neighbourhood, are the biggest sources of inspiration for my practice.