Working across several mediums including live and video-based performance and painting, Jaye Early’s work is primarily autobiographical. With a PhD in Visual Art from The University of Melbourne, the conceptual foundation to Early’s work is exploring the effect of revealing the personal aspects of Self to the public.

Oscillating between self-mockery and sincerity, the artist’s work creates a forum for his own artistic (and non-artistic) failures, successes, self-delusion and disappointments. As Early states, “I become my own subject, often using my body as a site for art-making. I am stimulated by exploring the reality in and between what is often not permissible in public spaces and spheres. With a focused interest in the authenticity of suppressed emotions, I am wanting to navigate and respond to the consequences of placing the personal into the public.”

Whether navigating hesitant paths of fragility and fear that are present within a variety of, often invisible, private and public social contracts, or the emotional anxieties associated with living in a late-capitalist landscape, Early’s work aims to consciously transform personal dislocations into a visual strategy of self- disclosure. Through vibrant abstractions with comical elements Early paradoxically plays with themes that are generally viewed as sombre in the mainstream, such as death and loss.

Early has participated in numerous Solo Exhibitions in the USA, Denmark and Australia. Early is the recipient of two post graduate tertiary scholarships and has been a finalist in ten prestigious Australian Art Awards including The 2020 Lester Art Prize.


2015 – 2018  PhD (Visual Art), Victorian College of the Arts, The University of Melbourne

2007 – 2009 MA of Studio Art (Painting), Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney

2005 – 2007 MA Art Administration, UNSW Art & Design

1998 – 2000 BA Art History/Theory, UNSW Art & Design, The University of New South Wales


Solo Exhibitions

2018 Death defines the conditions of living and all advice is autobiographical, Kings Artist-Run, Melbourne, Australia

2017 Private life is public business, Rubicon ARI, Melbourne, Australia

2016 All of a sudden I felt very powerful and strong then suddenly I didn’t, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2015 The history of me on my breath, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2015 One day you will die. I’m betting on myself. N/A Space, Melbourne, Australia

2013 Cowardly Custard, M2 Space, Sydney, Australia

2012 I better read between the lines in case I’m needed when I’m older. Blank_Space, Sydney, Australia


Selected Group exhibitions

2021 Doug Moran Art Prize

2021 Lethridge Small Scale Art Award

2020 Bulleke-bek International Screen Marathon, GALLERY INC., Melbourne, Australia

2019 Kensington Contemporary, New Agency, Melbourne, Australia

2019/2020 Contemporary Venice, ITSLIQUID International Art Show, Venice, Italy

2019 Friends and Family, Diane Singer, Melbourne, Australia

2019 PHOTOSTATS Redux, George Paton Gallery Project Spaces, Melbourne, Australia

2019 Linden Art prize, Linden New Art, Melbourne, Australia

2019 The Koorie Art Prize, Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne, Australia

2018 Sir John Sulman Finalist exhibition, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney Australia

2018 Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Carriageworks, Sydney, Australia

2018/19 Everyone just wants to tell their story. The Hole, New York, USA

2018 B- SIDE Blindside Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2018  Exhibition Title, Train/ennial (First Nations Contemporary artists), c3 Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2018 Double-Bind, Testing Grounds, Arts Centre, Melbourne, Australia

2017 Nosedive, Clearing Gallery, New York, USA

2017 ROI Art Prize finalist exhibition, Melbourne, Australia2017  Darebin Art Prize finalist exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.

2017  Darebin Art Prize finalist exhibition, Melbourne, Australia.

2017 The Bureau For The Organisation of Origins, BLINDSIDE Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2016 Provenance Does Matter: Living with Contemporary Art Part 2, Gallery 369, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia

2016 Provenance Does Matter: The Collectors’ Exhibition, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2015-16 The Koorie Art Show, Koorie Heritage Trust, Melbourne, Australia

2015 f generation: feminism art progressions, George Paton Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2015 Sydney Contemporary, Sydney, Australia

2015 Linden Postcard Show 2015, Linden New Art, Melbourne, Australia

2015 Proud, Margaret Lawrence Gallery, Melbourne, Australia

2015 All About Art I Brisbane, Brisbane, Australia

2014 Finalist,  Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, Melbourne, Australia

2014 GL RY, City Square, Melbourne, Australia

2013 Finalist, Black Swan Prize For Portraiture, Perth, Australia

2013 Interviews, The Spectrum, New York, USA

2013 Control, Rock Bar, New York, USA

2013 The invisibility of waiting…WAS, Copenhagen, Denmark

2012 Vertical Canvas, Art & About Sydney, Sydney, Australia

2012 Darkness exhibited: evil X-mas at WAS (group show), WAS (Wonderland Art Space) Absalongade 21B DK. 1658 Copenhagen, Denmark

2012 Swedish Queens, The DL, New York, USA

2012 Femail: You’re the Inspiration, Abrons Arts Center, New York, USA

2012 Google exhibition, Sydney Fringe Festival, Sydney, Australia

2012 Art Takes Times Square, New York, USA

2010 Seduce me, Monstrosity Gallery, Sydney Australia 2010 Festival Gallery: Visual Arts component. New Mardi Gras (Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras) Festival TAP gallery, Sydney, Australia

2010 It’s not the homosexual that is perverse, but the society in which s/he lives, Participant Inc., New York, USA

2009 bucket. MOP Projects, Sydney, Australia

2009 SEX PORN ART. Sedition Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2009 having a bad/good day. MSA Grad Exhibition, Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia

2008-09 Darkness exhibited: evil X-mas at WAS (group show), WAS (Wonderland Art Space) Absalongade 21B DK. 1658 Copenhagen V. Denmark

Grants and Awards  

2021 Semi-Finalist – Doug Moran National Portrait Prize

2021 Finalist – 2021 Lethridge Small Scale Art Award

2020 Finalist – Lester Art Prize

2019 Finalist – Linden Art Prize

2019 Finalist – Koorie Art Show

2018 Finalist – Sir John Sulman Prize

2018 Finalist ­– Redland Art Award

2018 Finalist – The Hutchins Australian Contemporary Art Prize

2017 Finalist – Darebin Art Prize

2017 Finalist – ROI Art Prize

2016 Finalist – Koorie Art Prize

2016 Finalist – Hornsby Art Prize

2016 Finalist – Redland Art Award

2016 Finalist – Bayside Acquisitive Art Prize

2015 Winner – The University of Melbourne Murrup Barak (The Koorie Art Show)

2015 The University of Melbourne Prestigious and Access Award: The Fay Marles Scholarship for Indigenous Graduate Research Students, Melbourne, Australia

2015 The University of Melbourne: The Scovell Gardener Family Fund for Indigenous Graduate Students, Melbourne, Australia

2014 Finalist – Victorian Indigenous Art Awards, Melbourne, Australia

2013 Semi-finalist – Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Sydney, Australia

2013 Finalist – Black Swan Prize For Portraiture, Perth, Australia

2010 Winner – Mardi Gras Gallery Award


Acquisitions & Collections

2018 Private Collection

2017 National Gallery of Victoria

2017 Private Collection

2016 National Gallery of Victoria

2016 Private Collection

2016 The University of Victoria

2016 Brooklyn Art Library, New York

2015 Private Collection

2014 Morningside College of TAFE, Brisbane



2019 Early, Jaye and Toby Juliff, The Self-Design of Contemporary Confessional Art, The Journal of Visual Art Practice, Taylor & Francis Online. Accepted October.

  1. Early, J, “Private Realms made Public: ‘Technologies of the Self’ as Agency and Resistance within Performance and Video-Based Video Art,” in The Cosmic and the Corporeal: Interdisciplinary Explorations of Time, Space and Body, eds. Deb Black and Iswarya, Visha, (Institute of Interdisciplinary Inquiry, Wellington, New Zealand, 2016), 1-4.

2013 Art Takes Times Square (hardback catalogue)

2010 Try State Magazine, New York. Issue 3 Spring

2009 Pisszine, Issue 4, New York. Fall issue

2009 Simpson. P., I’m a Liar, (interview) SPUNK magazine: a magazine exploring male genders, P 45-45.



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