The All Story

Incantation Of The Banksia Men - Sean Edward Whelan

Incantation of the Banksia Men
Synthetic polymer and gouache on board
40 x 40cm


It’s been great to be part of the inaugural group exhibition at the new gallery and bookstore, The All Story , Newcastle NSW this month.

From the site –  Southerns is an exhibition that draws our mythic past into our present day. Over 30 local and international artists have been invited to reimagine a fictional Australian character or story.  While some artists celebrate the cultural impact of films such as Picnic at Hanging Rock and television shows such as Round The Twist, others reflect on changing social views with modern readings of the work of May Gibbs and other canonised authors.This show aims to entertain, provoke, and provide new ways of seeing your old favourites: from film and literature to urban legends.

My piece, Incantation of the Banksia Men is based on the antagonists from the May Gibbs classic mentioned above, and diverges from the descriptions and illustrations in the book. I took my inspiration from the very first of May Gibb’s books, which is considered a classic. What I found interesting about the infamous Banksia Men in the story was the way they were described as inherently evil. Framed as scheming kidnappers, their motives where never revealed, and I thought this was something that needed to be investigated in my painting.

Prosthetic Reality at UniSA


A little while back I was invited to join a group of international artists on a special little project called Prosthetic Reality. It’s an AR book that uses an app called Eyejack to bring the artworks on each page to life with animation and sound.

It’s now on display for the next few months at the University of South Australia MOD, so if you’re in the state drop in and see this and more exhibits that explore the intersection between art and science.


In the Spirit of The Age, 8 Feb 2018


Scary Monsters
Acrylic on canvas
60 x 60cm



Big thanks to all those that could make it out to the opening and saw the work over the course of the show. Big warm fuzzy feels. Special thanks to Blackartprojects for their logistical expertise, Neospace for their hospitality and Dormilona for their awesome wines, that almost stole the show.

Check in with for work availability.



7 Campbell Street
Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia

London SketchBook Festival 2017



This year I’ll be joining the London Sketchbook Festival lineup, held at The Archivist – a beautiful space west of Hoxton – and showing some of my work on projectors over the 10 day event.

As well as the featured artists, there’ll be heaps of chances to join sketchbook workshops and meet up with designers and illustrators too, all based around drawing, architecture and moving image. For more info on this year’s event, check their site.


Sept 21 – 30. 2017.
The Archivist.
N1 5ET

Blackartprojects & Cake Wines present…

playing statues

83 Kerr Street
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065

For more details visit
View the catalog here


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Nothing Sacred…

And here it is (a teaser anyway). Very happy with the way it’s come out.  “Nothing Sacred”, piece number 3 for my solo show later this year. Check back soon for more updates

Things are coming along…

Here is my third piece for my show later this year. I’ve been working with sumi (Japanese ink) to do the base shadows and textures and I’m having a great time with it. Watering it down and working in layers, you can get perfectly smooth gradients or detailed textures with little effort at all. The finish is perfectly smooth too. Having worked almost exclusively with pencil for years now, it’s been great learning something new and taking my work in a new direction with a new medium.
After I finish the base layer in ink, I’ll move onto filling it in with watercolour. I’ve found a bit of the contrast gets lost with certain colours, especially the earthy tones, so coming back with the ink on top of the watercolor is necessary. The effect though, as you can see in the rocks in the bottom is really interesting. Here is one more photo of the last piece I did in progress.

New Work in Progress…

Later this year I’ll be back in Australia for a solo show. In the meantime, I’m pretty busy getting myself and a body of work together. You can watch me on Instagram or Twitter @seanedwhelan

or click on this –> Instagram  to go straight to the feed.

今年、9月上旬メルボルンにて個展が決まりました!これから猛スピード&一生懸命作品達を生み出します!Instagramにて完成までのプロセスをUPしていきます。良かったらフォロー宜しくお願いします!Instagram or Twitterアカウント @seanedwhelan

End of the World…

I will have 2 new drawings in End of the World – Thursday December 6th-30th, at Compound Gallery, Portland Oregon. If you’re close by, be sure to drop in Thursday night for the opening party. 

Above: Fractured Buildings, 34cm x 24cm, pencil on paper, 2012.

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Being creative with Shrines and Temples.

Sean came to Japan 5 years ago from Tasmania, Australia. Recently he has been producing art works based on shrines and temples (in Joetsu city, Niigata). During times when not taking English lessons, or when on weekends away from the conversation school where he works, he spends his time focused on his art work. Last year in September, he had his first exhibition and has plans for a second this coming December. His dream being to one day make a living from his art.

Using pencils and watercolour, he describes the tiles and wood in fine detail, rendering the scenes in deformed 3D to emphasise and immerse. Some of his influences come from Japanese manga; like Katsuhiro Otomo’s Akira and Matsumoto Taiyo’s Tekkon Kinkreet. In Joetsu city, he can walk and plan his images, drawing inspiration from the roadside rocks and trees, moss and the long history of the area. In his words, he describes it as “shinpiteki”: mysterious in Japanese.

Since he was young, he has enjoyed drawing. He attended the local university art school, majoring in design and was employed at a design office soon after graduation. There he helped produce web content until the company unfortunately went bankrupt. For about 1 year following, he engaged in freelance design, but found the commercial work limiting creatively, and his enthusiasm for design was soon extinguished.

While considering his future, he recalled advice his parents had given him about broadening his horizons. An opportunity to attend an interview for a large English conversation school in Japan gave him a chance to do so.

While a child he had always had a keen interest in things Japanese; watching Astroboy during the 80’s animation boom, and having an interest in package design during his studies at art school; describing the many wrapped layers of souvenirs as like that of an onion.

The conversation school sent him to Joetsu. A peaceful city similar in size and atmosphere to his hometown, where he soon met other creative people, including illustrators and musicians, also pursuing their arts.

In May 2009, he married his girlfriend of 4 years; Ayako, and he said with some jest, “I plan on living here at the moment”.

Last year, in Australia, he had his first exhibition with an old friend and artist, displaying about 20 pieces based on popular Japanese monster and hero TV series. After some success, and after returning to Joetsu city, he decided to pursue art seriously and immediately went about setting up a studio for his new work. Now, based in Joetsu, he is able to walk around his local area sourcing material for his next exhibition. He currently keeps a blog and regularly updates on his progress; receiving approx. 300 hits a month. He is positive about the future, and hopes to share more of his art with both local audiences and those abroad.