Jon Cattapan is former Director of the Victorian College of the Arts and visual artist. His research interests centre arounbd how painting can picture the urban environment, globalised societies and contemporary conflict.
Jon Cattapan’s works have dealt primarily with ways of representing urban topographies and narratives. He has a long held preoccupation for the way human beings negotiate territories. Within his paintings, drawings and prints we see influences of contemporary global culture and recent history which range from science fiction and film through to urban social debates. In 2008, he took up a commission through the Australian War Memorial to become Australia’s 63rd Official war artist and was deployed to Timor Leste, where he explored the nature of Night Vision technology as an aesthetic tool, which continues to inform his research outputs. He currently is the Lead Investigator in an ARC Discovery project that deals with the memorialising of conflict through contemporary artwork. In 2013 Cattapan was the recipient of the $80,000 Bulgari award through the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Cattapan is a very widely exhibited and significant Australian artist, having begun his exhibiting career in 1978, he has lived and worked in the UK, Europe, India, South Korea and the United States. In 2008 a monograph ‘Jon Cattapan: Possible histories’ written by Dr Chris McAuliffe was published. Cattapan’s work is held in many important state, regional and university museums, including the National Gallery of Australia; The Australian War Memorial; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; The National Gallery of Victoria; The Queensland Art Gallery; The Art gallery of South Australia; The Art Gallery of New South Wales, as well as private collections in Australia, Italy, India, UK and USA.