Seán Payne is an artist, teacher and writer who makes photographs, drawings, paintings, collages and assemblages. He is particularly interested in the commonalities between media, visual cultures and vernacular visual languages. He often takes a minimal approach and is increasingly exploring abstraction. Seán has a consciously ‘mixed media’ approach, reflecting his varied background. He enjoys exploring the underlying theoretical and historical reasons why things look the way they do.
Seán has been teaching at Melbourne Polytechnic since 2015. He also taught at Deakin University and La Trobe University for many years. He likes summarising complex information or difficult ideas into a form that can be grasped by any student and integrated into their creative practice. He loves to give students a sense that all visual culture is theirs to use and participate in. He also teaches important skills across the visual arts, including drawing, painting, photography and mixed media. Seán loves to ignite students’ excitement when they begin to sense the possibilities of a simple technique or explore a previously vague idea and give it concrete form. He also loves to make unexpected connections between history and the everyday visual environment we all occupy and often take for granted.
Seán completed a Masters of Visual Arts (by research) in 2005 and an Honours degree in Visual Arts in 2001 at La Trobe University. He also has a Diploma of Photography from the Australian College of Photography Art and Communication, received in 1993. He has participated in many solo and group exhibitions since 1990. He won the Australian Postgraduate Award in 2002, was ACPAC Student of the Year in 1993 and won an Ilford Student Scholarship in 1991. Seán has been an exhibiting artist since 1990 and also worked in commercial graphic design and illustration over many years. He writes on visual arts and individual artists and publishes articles, essays and blogs.
Awards & Grants
1991 - Ilford Student Scholarship
1993 - Australian College of Photography, Art and Communication Student of the Year
2002 - Australian Postgraduate Award