An artist at work

Wendy Sharpe, one of Australia’s leading contemporary artists, has begun a long-term residency with the Library to record the $15 million transformation of the historic Mitchell Building.

The much-loved Sydney landmark has not seen any major work since 1964, and Wendy is excited to record and respond to the changes that are taking place.

The eastern wing of the Mitchell Building – previously not open to the public – will be turned into beautiful new galleries and informal spaces for the enjoyment of the hundreds of thousands of people who visit us every year. A new learning centre and family space will also open on the ground floor, directly below the new galleries.

Wendy said the State Library has always been a place close to her heart.

'I used to come here with my father, historian Alan Sharpe, while he was researching various historic texts and photographs. I have also spent time here researching the endlessly fascinating collection for various projects.'

Wendy will be given exclusive back-of-house access to the 107 year-old building where she will draw and paint – mostly in gouache (opaque watercolour) –  a range of subjects and views from the rooftop right down to the floors below street level.

We will be documenting Wendy residency and sharing her work along the way. 


Artist Wendy Sharpe working on the roof of the Mitchell building.

Artist Wendy Sharpe working on the roof of the Mitchell building. 

Artist Wendy Sharpe working behind the scenes in the northern lightwell

This space is known as the northern lightwell. A builder’s lift has been temporarily installed.

Wendy Sharpe, Artists in residence, recording the works in the State Library of NSW’s historic Mitchell Building

This area used to be office space and is now the location for the Library’s new Michael Crouch Galleries.