1984, Camden, Australia.


2003-06  BFA with Honours, National Art School, Sydney.

Selected Solo / Two person Exhibitions:


TUG OF WAR (rope) : TUG OF LOVE (bon-bon) with Matthew Tumbers, KNULP, Sydney.


Stray Geranium, The Commercial, Sydney.


The Reader's Voice, Heide Museum of Modern Art, curated by Linda Michael, Melbourne.

FINCHES, The Commercial, Sydney.


Dip or Skinny Dip, The Commercial, Sydney.

Studio Leak, Shepparton Art Museum, curated by Elise Routledge, Victoria.

Cigarette cm, TCB art Inc., Melbourne.


Masters Resting, KALIMANRAWLINS, Melbourne.


Bass Principles, BREENSPACE, Sydney.

Piano Removalist, BOXCOPY, Brisbane.

Blue Period with Matthew Tumbers, SOCIETY, curated by Susan Gibb, Sydney.


Man Rose, BREENSPACE, Sydney.


Slow Dancing, Locksmith Project Space, Sydney.

Hey, hey, hey, my, my, my, gone, gone, gone, MOP Projects, Sydney.


I want my pants ripped off by someone wild, MOP Projects, Sydney.

Selected Group Exhibitions:


Unreal City, curated by Sarah Rees, Firstdraft, Sydney.


Grounded: Contemporary Australian Art, National Art School, curated by Judith Blackall, Sydney.

Sydney Contemporary, presented by The Commercial, Carraigeworks, Sydney.

Game, Bowerbank Ninow, Auckland, New Zealand.


Un-Leg, 55 Sydenham rd, curated by Nick Strike, Sydney.

Painting. More Painting, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, curated by Max Delany, Annika Kristensen & Hannah Matthews, Melbourne.

Auckland Art Fair, presented by The Commercial, The Cloud, Auckland.


DEADPAN, Goulburn Regional Gallery, curated by Abigail Moncrieff.

Sydney Contemporary, presented by The Commercial, Carriageworks, Sydney.

Writing Art, Artspace, curated by Scott Donovan, Sydney.

21st Century Heide: The Collection since 2000, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne.

TPOLR, The Commercial, Sydney.

Outside Thoughts, Contemporary Art Tasmania, curated by Wes Hill, Hobart.

Six people in a room, KNULP, Sydney.


No fond return of love, I.C.A.N, Sydney.

OUI we, The Commercial, Sydney.


The Knock-Off Show, SLOPES, curated by Liang Luscombe & Brooke Babington, Melbourne.

RELATIONSHIPPAL - Mitch Cairns, Susan Jacobs, Tim Silver, BREENSPACE, Sydney.

Ten out of Ten, curated by Ron & George Adams, MOP Projects, Sydney.


Sprezzatura, OK Gallery, Perth.

The Drawing Room, BREENSPACE, Sydney.


Eastern Seaboard, curated by Reuben Keehan & Melanie Oliver, Artspace, Sydney.


Alpha Romeo - Mitch Cairns, Christopher Hanrahan, Nigel Milsom, curated by Matthys Gerber, Peloton, Sydney.

They call them Pirates out here, curated by David Elliot, MCA, Sydney .


What I think of When I think about dancing, curated by Lisa Havilah and Susan Gibb, Campbelltown Arts Centre. 

Adam, Adam, Mitch, Nigel & Ron – Big Painting, Fraser Studios, Sydney.

Reality Check, curated by Daniel Mudie Cunningham, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery.

Colleagues & Peers, The Cosmic Battle for your Heart, Sydney.

The Shilo Project, curated by Chris McAuliffe, Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne


30th Anniversary Exhibition, Wollongong City Gallery.

Rimbaud/Rambo, Neon Parc, Melbourne.

Rookie Show, curated by Barbara Flynn, Deloitte Building, Sydney

I am a Good Boy, curated by Elise Routledge, Firstdraft, Sydney.


Victory! Triumph!, performance with Agatha Gothe-Snape, Firstdraft 21st Anniversary. 


Plastic Myth, curated by James Steele, Firstdraft, Sydney.

Selected Awards and Prizes:


Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Winner.

Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize, Finalist, Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria.


Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Highly Commended.


Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Highly Commended.


Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Finalist.

Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Juniper Hall, Sydney, Finalist.


Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship, Winner


Clitheroe Foundation Honours Painting Scholarship, Winner.


Art Gallery of New South Wales


Deloitte Collection

Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Wollongong University

Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne.

The National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.

Monash University Museum of Art

Private Collections


2009-11: Co-founder with Kelly Doley, Brian Fuata & Agatha Gothe-Snape,
The Cosmic Battle for Your Heart, Rozelle, Sydney.


Annemarie Lopez, Artists of Tomorrow: Australian Art Review, Issue 10 March-June, 2006

James Steele, TwentyLove,: Firstdraft 20th Anniversary, October, 2006.

Kerrie Davies, New Work: Art World Magazine # 1 February/March, 2008.

Anneke Jaspers, Runway #11: Conversation, 2008.

Shane Haseman, Written & Recorded by Ringo Starr, catalogue essay, BREENSPACE, 2008.

Agatha Gothe-Snape & Shane Haseman, MAN ROSE, catalogue essay, BREENSPACE, 2010.

Rachel Fuller, Piano Removalist, catalogue essay, BOXCOPY, Brisbane 2012.

Danny Ford, Heavy Lifting: Piano Removalist, BOXCOPY, Brisbane, 2012.

Andre Hemer, Painting without Irony. Review: Bass Principles, BREENSPACE. 2012

Susan Gibb, Sensitive Art, Bass Principles, catalogue essay, BREENSPACE, 2012.

Erik Jensen, Blue Period, Review, Runway #15, 2012

Susan Gibb, Collector’s Love - Art Collector #63, 2013.

Owen Craven, Emerge: Mitch Cairns – Artist Profile #22, 2013.

Ash Kilmartin, Condensity, catalogue essay, TCB art inc, Melbourne, 2014.

Matthew Holt, Midnight all day: notes on Mitch Cairns new work, catalogue essay, The Commercial, Sydney, 2015.

Dan Rule, Poetics & Pragmatics, Vault Magazine #11, 2015.

Cathy Peake, If this were a conventional book, catalogue essay, The Reader's Voice, 2016.

John Cruthers, catalogue essay, Stray Geranium, Sydney, 2016.

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