Catherine Truman

Photography by Grant Hancock

Photography by Grant Hancock


Biography 2019

Catherine Truman is medium agnostic, her oeuvre extends into performance, chorography, public sculpture, installation, photography and moving image.  She is a holistic maker - acutely aware of her process, while continually evolving her inquiry. Truman’s curiosity takes her and her makings into the sensate and anatomically unfamiliar – probing thresholds of human being.

Melinda Rackham 2016 

Catherine Truman: touching distance

SALA Monograph, Wakefield Press 2016


Catherine Truman is an established contemporary jeweller and object-maker working across the disciplines of art and science and is qualified in the Feldenkrais Method of movement education. She is co-founder of Gray Street Workshop, Adelaide South Australia where she currently lives and works.

From 2009 until 2012 she was artist in residence in the Autonomic Neurotransmission Laboratory and the Anatomy and Histology departments, Flinders University, Adelaide. In 2011 she was awarded an ANAT Synapse Residency to carry out a research project based at Flinders University focused on the role of touch and gesture in the communication of functional human anatomy to students of medical science in collaboration with Professor Ian Gibbins.

During 2013/14 Truman and Gibbins led The Microscope Projectthat culminated in a major exhibition at Flinders University Art Museum City Gallery, Adelaide, South Australia. 

In 2015 Truman undertook a residency in the Microscopy suite at Flinders University and the resulting works entitled In Preparation for Seeing  toured nationally and internationally with Gray Street Workshop’s thirtieth anniversary exhibition- Theatre of Detail during 2015/2016.

Truman’s practice is renowned for its diversity and incorporates contemporary jewellery, objects, digital image and film installation with a focus upon the parallels between artistic process and scientific method.

Truman is the subject of a SALA monograph written by Melinda Rackham and her work was featured in a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2016.In 2017 The Jamfactory, Adelaide presented a major solo exhibition no surface holds, highlighting her art/science practice as part of their Icon program for 2017.This exhibition is currently touring nationally.

Currently Truman is currently a visiting scholar at the Flinders Centre for Ophthalmology, Eye and Vision Research, School of Medicine, Flinders University, and artist in residence at the State Herbarium, Botanic Gardens of South Australia undertaking a project titledThe Visible Light Project: experiments in light and vision.

Truman has traveled and exhibited widely nationally and internationally and is represented in a number of major national and international collections including the Pinakothek Moderne Munich,Coda-museum, Netherlands,Museum of Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China,Museum of Auckland, National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Queensland Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Powerhouse Museum Sydney, and the Art Gallery of South Australia and Artbank.

Artist Statement 2019


My practise is research-based and focuses on the parallels between craft processes and science research methodologies. 

 For many years now, I have had an avid interest in anatomy and have viewed the body as a rich and potent vehicle for the exploration of the personal and the political. Past works have centred on the question of how our individual knowledge of human anatomy is formed and communicated by both artists and scientists. 

Having worked as an artist amongst scientists in research environments since the late 90s  I‘ve undertaken many cross-disciplinary projects. Since 2007I have cultivated important and unique relationships with the bio-medical researchers, scientists and educators within the specialised scientific environment of the School of Medicine at Flinders University and worked with students and staff in the practical anatomy classrooms, histology and neuroscience laboratories, the microscopy suite. The continuity of this exchange is special and rare and has been invaluable to the evolution of my practise.

These endeavours have been extraordinarily rich and continue to underpin all aspects of my concept development and material processes.

As an artist I have learnt that making things with my hands leaves me with much less of a sense of dislocation from the world I live in and this, I feel is an interesting premise from which to examine the world of science.

Currently I’m undertaking a project titled The Visible Light project : experiments in light and perception. The Visible Light Project is an ambitious creative project that draws together the disciplines of optometry, botany and art. 

Light, the absence of light, the transition of light, the processing and the observation of light will form the basis of my research and the creation of new work.

This is a 12-month project that begins with residencies in two distinct scientific environments, the Optometry and Imaging Clinics, Flinders University and the State Herbarium, Botanic Gardens of South Australia todraw some ‘creative' parallels between the physiology and structure of the human eye and plants and the ways both process light into energy.