Kirsty Budge
9 August - 16 September 2017

gawkalitis /ɡɔːkəˈlʌɪtɪs/ n. a condition where one stares intensely for sustained periods (usually diagnosed by the subject of staring): “Someone has a bad case of gawkalitis.” (see also: “Someone got eyes for Christmas.”)

This new body of work by Kirsty Budge explores the desire to watch - and the evolutionary benefits of watching - other people, whether it be on the street, through a distant kitchen window or on your tv/laptop. Budge is interested in how glimpses of vulnerability, motivation, decay and victory in the lives of others can provide greater self-awareness to the viewer and aid in finding further clarity. The risk free simulation of observation.

These paintings incorporate a very specific language sifted from certain pop culture references. Acting as a bridge between personal experience and the final image, these references are used as symbols for mirrored personal behaviours, feelings, and coping mechanisms. Using humour and emotional vulnerability Budge aims to synthesise the challenge of how to live with oneself and others in a forward thinking and conscious way.


Kirsty Budge is a New Zealand-born, Melbourne-based artist. In 2016 she exhibited in The Painters Are In at Spring 1883, her first solo exhibition with Daine Singer; Painting More Painting, ACCA’s major survey of Australian contemporary painting; I’m not desperate, you’re desperate, a solo exhibition at Sarah Scout Presents; and at the Spinnerei Leipzig in Germany. In 2017 she has exhibited in Present at the VCA Art Space and as a finalist in the Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize at the Bendigo Art Gallery. In 2018 Budge will undertake a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, as recipient of an Art Gallery of New South Wales Studio Scholarship.

Budge has participated in a number of group exhibitions in Melbourne including Return, Daine Singer (2015);  Man, Tristian Koenig (2015); Pretty Shit (curated by Colleen Ahern and Mark Hislop), Incidents Above a Bar (2015) and Paintings, C3 (2014). Budge has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting) from the Victorian College of the Arts, where she was recipient of the 2014 Stirling Collective Award for Painting. Her work is in the Artbank Collection and numerous private collections in Australia.

Kirsty Budge - artist statement >>
Brodie Lancaster catalogue essay >>
'Untitled' by Tom Budge >>