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Janet McKenzie’s art practice combines Making (painting, drawing, printmaking) and Writing. She studied at the Australian National University (History of Art, Philosophy), the Canberra School of Art (etching), University of Melbourne  and the University of St Andrews (PhD on Arthur Boyd). Her publications include: Drawing in Australia, Contemporary Images and Ideas, (1986) Noel Counihan (1986), Arthur Boyd at Bundanon (1993), Arthur Boyd: Art and Life (2000), The Art of Ken Done (2002), John Bellany and Thomas Gainsborough, (2012) Moving Beyond, Contemporary Painting China, 2013, Isabel Alexander: Artist and Illustrator (2017) and Godwin Bradbeer (2018).


She co-edited Studio International (2000-13) with Michael Spens (1939-2014) and The Drawn Word (2014) with Spens and Stephen Farthing. She continues to interview artists and to write for Studio International and is working on new book titles: Conversations with Artists (with Nick Howard) and The Portrayal of Loss; Navigating the Void (McKenzie, Victor Majzner, Hedy Ritterman, Anita Glesta). Catharsis: An Artist’s Journey Through Grief, will be published by Bloomsbury, London (2022). Lives in Scotland (since 1987).

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Born in Orbost, Victoria, Australia, 1956

Moved to Scotland in 1987 - British and Australian Citizenship

Lives in Fife, Scotland



Australian National University (History of Art, Philosophy);

Canberra School of Art (Etching);

University of Melbourne (History of Art).

University of St Andrews (PhD).


Teaching Posts:

Tutor, Canberra School of Art, (1981-82)

Lecturer, Continuing Education, Canberra: Women’s Art History, (1982)

Lecturer, Victorian College of the Arts (1984)

Tutor, College of Fine Art, Sydney (1985)

Visiting Lecturer, Edinburgh College of Art (2006)

Honorary Research Fellow, University of Dundee (2008-present)

External Examiner, MA Drawing, Wimbledon College of Art, UAL, 2015-6

Global Centre for Drawing, Melbourne, Lecturer, 2017



Studio International, with Michael Spens re-launched as an e. journal 2000-2013. Co-authored and edited 9 Yearbooks.

Contributor: ongoing.

About Face, University of the Arts, London:


Select Publications Books:

Drawing in Australia: Contemporary Images and Ideas (1986)

Noel Counihan, Kangaroo Press, Sydney, 1986.

Arthur Boyd at Bundanon, with a Foreword by Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia, Academy Editions, London, 1994.

Ken Done’s Sydney, 20 Years of Painting, The Ink Group, Sydney, 1999.

Arthur Boyd, Art and Life Foreword by Martin Kemp, Thames and Hudson, London, (2000)

The Art of Ken Done, Craftsman Press, Sydney, 2002.

Contemporary Australian Drawing, Palgrave Macmillan, Australia (2012)

Moving Beyond: Painting in China, 2013 (2013)

Godwin Bradbeer, Thames and Hudson, Melbourne, 2018

Isabel Alexander: Artist and Illustrator, Isart, Edinburgh, 2017

Catharsis: An Artist’s Journey Through Grief, Bloomsbury, London (2022)


Artist interview: 




Judge, Jerwood Drawing Prize, London 2014


Keynote Papers:

“Drawing as Exploration”, at Drawn Out, University of the Arts, London (2012)

  “The Osgood Suite”, Crossing the Line 2, American University in Dubai (2014)   

“To Travel Hopefully: The Road to Ardnamurchan” at Crossing the Line 3, SACI, Florence (2015)


Conference Paper:

Speaker at Engendering Dialogues between Art & Philosophy: Women’s Perspectives, Women’s Practices, 2012, Dundee Contemporary Arts: in conjunction with Royal Edinburgh Society.


Select Exhibitions:

International Women’s Day, Group Show, Burgmann College, Australian National University, March 2021

Strategy Get Arts, Demarco Foundation, Edinburgh, 2020.

Art and Healing, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, February 2020

The Mind, the Body and the Image Today, Bloomsbury Gallery, London, (May 2019) (Mental Health Awareness week)

Matière, Cobalt Contemporary, Pittenweem, (May 2015)

Open Exhibition Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, (November 2016)

Drawing on Two Worlds: Embarkation, (Paintings, chainsaw woodcuts, etchings) Langford 120 Gallery, Melbourne, (April 2013)

Crossing the Line 2: Drawing in the Middle East: Location

Jam Jar, Dubai, (12-14 September 2014)

Gardens and Landscapes: Recent Paintings, Richard Demarco Foundation, Edinburgh Festival, St Andrews, (August-September 1995)

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