Kathleen O'Hagan

Emerging fine artist
Class of 2016

Congratulations Kathleen, on the nomination of "23 Millennial Influencers" by Associated Christian Schools. Full publication here

Kathleen O’Hagan is a Brisbane-based emerging artist. Her practice investigates the way collective values, within culturally diverse communities, impacts individual identity. Through portraiture and figuration, her work reflects on the journey into adulthood faced by young Australians, as they navigate self-expression within the constraints of societal pressures and ideals.

Her core motivation is to evoke empathy to the experience of others. Through gesture, saturated colour and directional light, her paintings capture the emotive energy of her subjects. Thematically, her dual interest in the body and the native landscape symbolises the barrier between individual identity and the larger cultural environment. As such, her paintings integrate within the contemporary discourse surrounding Australian collective identity; where individuals are defined by a multitude of beliefs, ethnicities, identities and values. Her practice lends itself to serial work through painting, drawing and printmaking.

Areas of excellence

GPA 7 for 2018 & 2019 & achieved the  Billie Hall Bursary for Outstanding Achievement in Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art   - a bursary for the Fine Arts first year student with the highest GPA.

Awards • 3rd Prize in the Mosman Youth Award in 2017 (plus 2 highly commended - 2015, 2016 & the Ken Done award in 2018) • Student Acquisition Prize, Northside Christian College 2016  • Honourable mention in the Young Archies Award in 2016 • 2nd Place, Future Visions Award, USQ Artworx, Toowoomba 2015 • An excellence award in the Creative Generations Excellence in Visual Art Award in 2015 • SL & Bond University’s Youth Development Program  scholarship in 2015

Exhibitions Her works has been exhibited at Mosman Art Galley in NSW (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), the National Trust S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney in NSW (2016),  Future Visions Award, USQ Artworx, Toowoomba (2015), the Ipswich Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art at South Bank, Brisbane (2016), at Griffith QCA art gallery (Close Up, 1st Year Studio Foundations Students, Project Gallery) (2018) & (‘Undergrowth’ some of most innovative undergraduate works) , Kathleen held her first solo exhibition, “Joyful Creation” at the Centre for Innovation and Creativity, Northside Christian College (2018). 

She was illustrator for picture book, Colourful Memories, published by Wombat Books in 2016-2017,  published July 2018 (  

She was on the team of 3 that designed and painted the murals at Eat Street, North Shore, Brisbane, (2019) was an assistant for Saudi Arabian artist Saffaa at Fish Lane (2019).

Leadership  • As part of an internship in 2017, she was assistant teacher at Viro Primary School, Fiji & facilitated a fundraiser to provide much needed First Aid kits to the primary school as well as painting murals on the school walls.  She revisited Viro in 2019 and amongst others things, painted more murals with educational value. • She is a Kids church leader at Hills Church, Everton Hills from 2014-2020 • An English tutor at Number Works and Words 2018-2020  • A member of the Honours College at Griffith University 2018-2020

Contributions Kathleen is an intern at the YUNUS centre at Logan, involved in a mural project and other projects to help the community (2020).

  • Her internship in Fiji made a significant contribution to the community.
  • She was Artist in Residence at Northside Christian College 2017-2019
  • Art project - 30 day illustration of positives on Instagram 2020

She has shown great resilience and fortitude even after the disappointment with the cancellation of a major scholarship trip funded by the Colombo Plan - planned for first Hong Kong & then Shanghai in Dec 2019-Feb 2020.