Rosie Deacon in her studio at Parramatta Artist Studios, 2018. Courtesy Parramatta Artists Studio. Photo: Jacquie Manning

Rosie Deacon was born in Nyngan, central west slopes and plains, and growing up in regional communities such as Bathurst and Wagga Wagga, the artist was influenced to create a strong community engaged craft practice.

Deacon uses easily accessible materials and what may be described as ‘everyday junk’ to create pieces that blur the lines between contemporary art, craft and jewellery practice. Deacon repurposes everyday materials such as synthetic eyelashes together with things like acrylic paint, expanding foam, jewels, glittery stickers and clay. The mash up of a diversity of materials affects the meaning of the work and how an audience may interpret the idea of artists’ process.

In 2015 Deacon curated MCA art bar Koala Nutbush where Sydneysiders discovered regional traditions of her up-bringing, from line dancing, bush treats and local craft.

‘Bit Fat in Da Back’ (Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2016) was an immersive video installation in which Deacon plays with the concept of tourism and Australiana kitsch. Using a mix of craft and souvenirs sourced from Chinatown in Sydney, Deacon creates a fantastical scene bursting with a conglomerate of sequins, colour, and glitter-covered kangaroos. This multi-faceted installation features the premier of Deacon’s kangaroo rap with original costuming and a series of video works, documenting Deacon’s encounters in and around Sydney’s attractions including Paddy’s Markets, The Opera House and aboard an iconic Sydney ferry.

Video oediV, Campbelltown Arts Centre, 2016. Curated by Megan Monte.

Fun Foam Fantastical-Fabulous Fun!‘  (Firstdraft Gallery, 2016) was an installation that incorporated 700kg of Fun Foam. Deacon was gifted a truck load of Fun Foam, a gooey and textured craft material popular in the 1980s.  This started her obsession with the dynamic and versatile material, where she shaped everything from kangaroos, koalas, trees, and Australiana mythical creatures.


The souvenir and the spectacle – Rosie Deacon at Egg and Dart

Art can make you soft again: spotlight on Rosie Deacon

Hyper Colour Obsessions



Australian Contemporary Artists Whose Work You Have to Follow




Video Works:

Candy Shop 2015


Kangaroo Cook-off and the Whole Kitsch’n Kaboodle 2016


Bit Fat In Da Back 2016


Artist Biography

Rosie Deacon (b. 1985) is a Sydney-based artist working in sculpture and installation. She engages with the spectacle of obsession and realms of the absurd. In 2010, Deacon graduated from UNSW COFA with first class honours and was the recipient of both the Gallery Barry Keldoulis Grant for Emerging Artists and the Dinosaur Designs Prize. She has held solo exhibitions at Varbergs Konsthall (Sweden), Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, The Egg & Dart, The Cube Mosman Art Gallery, Firstdraft, Gaffa Gallery, 107 Projects and been included in group shows across Sydney, Newcastle, Bathurst, Brisbane, Townsville, Launceston and Sheffield, UK. In 2014, Deacon was selected as the inaugural Runway Annual Artist Commission. In 2015, Deacon was invited as the Guest Artist for Studio A’s project for Underbelly Arts Festival on Cockatoo Island. Deacon exhibited at abandoned theme park ‘Adventureland’ for Campbelltown Arts Centre’s Winter Wonderland, and was included in Performance Contemporary for Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Carriageworks. In 2016, Deacon curated ‘Koala Nutbush’ ART BAR, at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, and was awarded Viewers Choice in the Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize at the National Art School, Darlinghurst. In 2018, Deacon won the Sculpture Prize for the Fishers Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre. In 2019, Deacon was commissioned a new work ‘FFS (Fashion Forest Seduction) for MONA FOMA. Deacon’s work is held in collections including Artbank, Campbelltown Arts Centre and Wollongong City Art Gallery.

Artist Statement

Through sculptural installation, my often grotesque re-creations intend to illustrate the various spectrums and extremities of creativity and obsession, and to highlight and exaggerate the natural symbioses that exist between humans and animals. I reflect on the incorporation of native flora and fauna into promotional paraphernalia and festival imagery through the 70s, 80s and beyond, celebrating Australiana kitsch. I aim to playfully encourage viewers to step outside their daily reality into a space of play.

My work resembles large-scale, fictional geographies, inhabited solely by handmade sculptures, exploring states of humanity, feelings of belonging and realms of the absurd. As a maker the idea of repetition and accumulation is cathartic in that it gives me time to process and understand my own interests and existence. I like to use ‘everyday junk’ and easily accessible materials to create pieces that blur the lines between contemporary art, craft and jewellery practise.

I am interested in the idea of repurposing everyday materials such as synthetic eyelashes together with things like acrylic paint, expanding foam, jewels, glittery stickers and clay. I think this mash up of very diverse materials affects the meaning of the work and how an audience may interpret the idea of artists’ process.

I have a personal obsession with animal-imagery, yet made horrifyingly unfamiliar, by transforming its natural inhabitants into a spectacularly camp pastiche of faux fur and perennial pride. I like to coax the audience to examine in greater detail the exotic entrails of celebrated souvenirs, while simultaneously exploring what it could mean to be an icon of the Australian wild.



2005-2009: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture/Performance/Installation with First Class Honours, UNSW College of Fine Arts.

2007: Porosity Sculpture/Design Studio, Octopus, with Professor Richard Goodwin, Politecnico Di Milano University, Milan.



Fun Foam Fantastical Fabulous Fun!, Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Wagga Wagga.

Perfect Vacation, Solo Show, Varbergs Konsthall, Varberg, Sweden.

The Cube, Solo Show, Oxford Art Factory, Darlinghurst.

Cockatoo Cavern Fever, Solo Show, Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville.

FFS (Fashion Forest Seduction), MONA FOMA, Launceston.

The Enchanted Garden, Bondi Pavilion Art Gallery, Bondi Beach.

Facebook Artist in Residence, Facebook, Sydney.


Curiouser & Curiouser, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst.

Pom Pom Possum Paper Blossom, 20th Birthday, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.

Guess Who 3, WSP Fundraiser, Wellington Street Projects, Chippendale.

The End..Again Fundriaser, The Shed, Georgetown.

4A Artists Car Booth Sale, World Square, Haymarket.

Fishers Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown.

Beyond Reason, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane.

Ringtail Rummage, Future Artists Club, Parramatta Artist Studios, Parramatta.

South/East Interference Vol. 1, Solo Show, Bega Valley Regional Gallery, Bega.

Firstdraft Auction, Firstdraft, Wolloomooloo.

Budgie Hoops, Knox St Window, Knox Street Bar, Chippendale.


The Moving Forest, WOW Festival, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

Tree Bear Punk Queens of the Desert (collaboration with Studio A artist Emily Crockford), Paired, Firstdraft, Wooloomooloo.

Tree Top Tweety Bird Pop Egg Design Living (collaboration with Studio A artist Emily Crockford), Suburbia – Project Space, Cement Fondu, Paddington.


Fish the Dish -Artist Announcement Event, Parramatta Artists Studios, Parramatta.

Kangasouvenir Picnic, Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Windsor.

Pom Pom: Children’s Contemporary Art Space, Carclew, Adelaide.

Stuffed Species – The Gentle Art of Interior Fauna, Solo Show, The Egg & Dart, Thirroul.

Kangasue, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Barangaroo, Sydney.

Firstdraft Auction, Firstdraft, Wolloomooloo.

Pop Up North Queensland, Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts, Townsville.

Good Neighbours, Artbank Sydney, Waterloo.

Through the Ring Tail Poss-Toss!, Art Month Sydney | Art at Night | Paddington & Woollahra, UNSW Art & Design, Paddington.

Kanga-Pom-Pom Keyring, Solo Show, The Cube, Mosman Art Gallery, Mosman.

Exploring Identity -Ned, Koala & Me, Art Space on The Concourse, Chatswood.


The Egg & Dart Xmas Show, The Egg & Dart, Thirroul.

Totes Gay – Art for Marriage Equality, Trolley’d, St Peters.

August, Home@735 Gallery, Redfern.

Ab-Fab Collab, Way Out West Festival, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula.

Wonder, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea.

Firstdraft Auction, Firstdraft, Wolloomooloo.

Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, NAS Gallery, Darlinghurst.

Collectors Space, Art Month Sydney, Camperdown.

Art at Night -Chippendale & Redfern, Eveleigh Creative Precinct, Eveleigh.

Take me to The Kanga Kandy Shop, after pARTY, Freda’s Bar, Chippendale.

February Artbar, The Fling Before the Ring; Curated by Giselle Stanborough, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks

January Artbar, Koala Nutbush; Curated by Rosie Deacon, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks.

Bit Fat in Da Back, Video Oediv, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown.

Putt-putt Party Down the Wombat Hole, FBi Smac Festival, Carriageworks, Eveleigh.


Christmas Koala Kissing Corner, Neon-Classical, The Bearded Tit, Redfern.

Holiday 2015, 107 Projects, Redfern.

Sensorium, Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong.

Fun Foam Fantastical Fabulous Fun, Solo Show, Firstdraft, Wolloomooloo.

21 Exhibition, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula.

Friends with Benefits: Sharing is Caring, This is Not Art Festival, Critical Animals, Newcastle.

The Tutti Frutti Dream Factory (Guest Artist), Beams Art Festival, Chippendale Creative Precinct, Chippendale.

Inside the Dark Rat Hole, Little Men Wait, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Books Kinokuniya, Sydney.

Bargain Basement Kanga Kave, Performance Contemporary, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Carriageworks, Eveleigh.

The Tutti Frutti Dream Factory (Guest Artist), Underbelly Arts Festival, Cockatoo Island, Sydney.

Young Collectors, Contemporary Jewellery Collections, Entrance Foyer Gallery, Sydney College of The Arts, Rozelle.

Krafty Kangaroosie Deacon’s Party Pouch Giveaway, The Bearded Tit, Redfern.

Winter Wonderland, O’Neils Adventureland, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Campbelltown.

Firstdraft Auction, Firstdraft, Wolloomooloo.

May Artbar, Curated by Rebecca Baumann, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks.

Biggie Smalls, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Casula.

107 Fundraising Auction, 107 Projects, Redfern.

Peep Hole, Brand X, 108 B Campbell St, Surry Hills.

January Artbar, Humour of the Everyday; Curated by Tom Polo, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks.

Contemporary Art Jewellery, Solo Show, Personal Project Space, Canberra.

Friends With Benefits, Twenty Thirty Seven, Glebe.


Glazed & Confused: Ceramics in Contemporary Art Practise, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, Gymea.

Runway Annual Commission Launch: ‘Inside the Dark Rat Hole, Little Men Wait’, Solo Show, G18, Redfern.

Overseasoned Part Deux, Artemis (House) Project Space, York, North Yorkshire.

Monuments of the Everyman, Nana Contemporary, Newcastle.

Overseasoned, Gage Gallery, Sheffield, South Yorkshire.

The Return of Captain Kitty’s Chicken Boat, Solo Show, Nana Contemporary, Newcastle.

Assemblage II, 107 Projects, Redfern.

Four Play, Sheffer Gallery, Darlington.

Nothing New, City of Sydney 101-111 William St Windows, Darlinghurst.


Das Wunder Kinder, Mils Gallery, Surry Hills.

The Rosie and Wally Show, 107 Projects, Redfern.

Firstdraft Auction, Firstdraft, Surry Hills.

Go West, Art Month Sydney Bus Tour, Western Sydney.


The Christmas Show, 107 Projects, Redfern.

Alive & Well: The Firstdraft Art Auction, Firstdraft, Surry Hills.

A Cabinet of Curiosities, NG Art Gallery, Chippendale.

Alternate Universal Studios, Firstdraft, Surry Hills.


A Cabinet of Curiosities, NG Art Gallery, Chippendale.

GBK Awardees: Where are they now?, Gallery Barry Keldoulis, Waterloo.

National Animal, Solo Show, Gaffa Gallery, Sydney.


2018 Winner, Sculpture Prize for the Fishers Ghost Art Award, Campbelltown Art Centre.

2016 Viewers Choice, Redlands Konica Minolta Art Prize, NAS Gallery, Darlinghurst.

2015 FBi SMAC Nomination for Best Artist, Carriageworks, Eveleigh.

2012 Best in Show Prize, by Roger Foley-Fogg, 107 Projects.

2009 Dinosaur Designs Honours Graduate Award.

2009 Honours Studio Grant, Gallery Barry Keldoulis.

2007 Dinosaur Designs Honours Graduate Award -Highly Commended.