Doctor of Philosophy (Visual Arts), Canberra School of Art, Australian National University. Beyond Familiar Territory: solo exhibition and dissertation; focus on mining and the consumption of mineral resources (includes analysis of works by Robert Smithson and Alfredo Jaar, and the Bark Petitions of Yirrkala). External examiners: Professors Anne Graham, Ian North, Tim Bonyhady


Bachelor of Fine Arts, Double Honours in Visual Arts and History in Art (First Class), University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


Bachelor of Science (summa cum laude), Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA

Current employment (the day job)


Senior Lecturer (part-time 60%)

School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University, Australia

Solo exhibitions


Earth Matters, Turner Galleries, Northbridge, WA, Australia


Over My Shoulder (curated by Hannah Matthews), Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), Perth, WA, Australia


Promised Land, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah, WA, Australia


Promised Land, The Bank, Midland, WA, Australia


Promised Land, Central TAFE Gallery, Perth, WA, Australia


Promised Land, Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, Geraldton, WA, Australia


Promised Land, WA Fringe Festival, Goldfields Arts Centre, Kalgoorlie, WA, Australia


Promised Land, Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany, WA, Australia


Transpose, Spectrum Project Space. Northbridge, WA, Australia


Promised Land (curated by Sophie O'Brien), Perth International Arts Festival, The Church Gallery, Claremont, WA, Australia


Wh-eat, collaboration with Murray Gibbs, Fremantle Arts Centre, WA, Australia


Beyond Familiar Territory. Canberra Museum & Gallery, ACT, Australia


Bauxite, Canberra Contemporary Art Space (The Cube), ACT, Australia


Backbone 3, de Vaalserberg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Backbone 2, Canberra Contemporary Art Space, Manuka, ACT, Australia

Selected group exhibitions



Bunbury Biennale

Perth Centre for Photography, Collective

Mundaring Arts Centre, Canopy: into the forest

Spectrum Project Space, InConversation


Mundaring Arts Centre, My Own Executioner

 Fremantle Arts Centre, Horizon: Exploring the West Coast with the Clipperton Project,

Joondalup Community Invitational Art Award (short listed but withdrawn due to injury)


Shanghai Institute of Technology, Becoming


Spectrum Project Space, Edith Cowan University, Artmart


Gomboc Gallery, Sculpture Survey 2013


Nyisztor Studio, Pure Contemplation Without Knowledge


Choju Contemporary Art, Kyoto, Japan, Japan and Australia Sculpture Exchange:


Joondalup Invitational Art Award


Gallery Central and EPRA initiative Shopfronts on Beaufort


Paper Mountain, How to Talk with a Mountain, Awesome Festival


Zuiunan Gallery, Kyoto, Japan, Japan and Australia Sculpture Exchange


Kaede Gallery, Osaka, Japan, Japan and Australia Sculpture Exchange:


Perth Centre for Photography, WA Photographic Book Survey


Paper Mountain, Conservatorium, Northbridge, Australia


Dialogues with Landscape (curated by Katie Lenanton) Perth International Arts Festival, The University of Western Australia


Moores Building Contemporary Art Gallery, Artists for Peace (curated by Pauline Williams), Fremantle


Fremantle Arts Centre, Home Open (curated by Chris Hill, Consuelo Cavaniglia, Bevan Honey)


Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), PICA Salon


John Curtin Gallery, Get smART


Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe


Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe


Vancouver Art Gallery, Albany, Paperartzi


Central Gallery, Sensation (curated by Thelma John), City of Perth & Taipei exchange


John Curtin Gallery, Chart, Curtin University


Gomboc Gallery, Sculpture Survey 2006


Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, WA, Australia


My Own Executioner, Mundaring Arts Centre, Mundaring, WA, Australia


Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, WA, Australia


On the beach, Maritime Museum, Fremantle, WA, Australia


Transpositions, IASKA, Kellerberrin, WA, Australia


Transpositions. Mandurah Performing Arts Space, Mandurah, WA, Australia


Transpositions, Katanning Art Gallery, WA, Australia


Transpositions, Geraldton Regional Art Gallery, WA, Australia


Transpositions, Narrogin Art GAllery, WA, Australia


Transpositions, Cannery Arts Centre, Esperance, WA, Australia


Collectables (curated by Andrew Nicholls), The Moores Building, Fremantle, WA, Australia


Initial Spectrum (curated by Domenico de Clario), Spectrum Project Space, Northbridge, WA, Australia


Transpositions, Dutch Artists in Western Australia, Western Australia Museum, Perth, WA, Australia


Metis 2001: Wasted, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA, Australia


Uglieland, The Moores Building, Fremantle, WA, Australia


Vital Signs, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town University, South Africa


Vital Signs, Stargard Szczecinski Museum, Szczecinski, Poland


Canberra National Sculpture Forum (curated by David Watt), ACT, Australia


ACUADS, RMIT Project Space, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Vital Signs, Photospace Gallery, Canberra School of Art, ACT, Australia


Mapping the Comfort Zone (curated by Vivonne Thwaites), Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA, Australia


Nien Schwarz and Hanh Ngo, Canberra School of Art Gallery, ACT, Australia


Nomadia, De Vaalserberg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


The 12th Tamworth Fibre/Textile Biennial, Tamworth Regional Gallery (touring Campbelltown, Dubbo, Bathurst, Toowoomba, Broken Hill), NSW, Australia


Response to Manifesta 1, Duende, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


The Helen Pitt Exhibition, Surrey Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada


John Curtin Gallery Art Collection - commissioned outdoor sculptural work titled Transpose

Edith Cowan University Art Collection

Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia

Private collections: Fremantle, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, Vancouver, Ottawa

Selected professional experiences



External Examiner, Curtin University of Technology, Visual Arts, Honours and PhD

Senior Lecturer (since 2006) & Visual Arts undergraduate program coordinator (2006-2012), and Head, Sculpture Studio (2000- ) School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University, Australia


Field Assistant, Geological Survey of Western Australia


Correspondent, WA Wrap, Australian Art Collector Magazine


Correspondent, Artnotes WA, Art Monthly Australia


Lecturer (sculpture), tutor (art theory), Canberra School of Art, ACT, Australia


Public Programs Assistant, National Gallery of Australia, ACT, Australia


Installation assistant for "Islands: Contemporary Installations" exhibition (assisted Christian Boltanski, Alfredo Jaar, Lyndal Jones, and Montien Boenma), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia


Arctic expedition cook & camp manager, Geological Survey of Canada, Precambrian Division, Ottawa, Canada



2014 -


Selection panel, Sculpture by the Sea, for Bondi 2015

Committee member, International Centre for LAndscape and Language (ICLL), CREATEC, Edith Cowan University

Selection panel, Sculpture by the Sea, for Cottesloe 2015

Selection panel and committee member, Spectrum Project Space, Edith Cowan University


Selection panel member, Joondalup Invitational Art Award


Selection panel member, Committee member and Chair (2010), Art on the Move


Selection panel member, Artsource, Basel, and Gunnery residencies


Selection panel member, Edith Cowan University Sculpture Park


Board member, Board of the Institute of the Arts (BITA), ANU, Canberra

Selected residencies, projects, awards, events


Fremantle Arts Centre, artist-in-residence


Beaufort Street Shopfront Projects, curated by Thelma John, Northbridge, WA, Australia


Commission, Transpose (project facilitated with Kate McMillan), John Curtin Gallery Art Collection, Curtin University, Bentley, WA, Australia


Curator, Floating (artists: Theo Koning, Rick Vermey, Richard Woldendorp, Rinske Car, Aadje Bruce, Hans Arkeveld), Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA, Australia


Joondalup Invitation Art Award, Joondalup, WA, Australia


Curator, Hyaline Hybrids, Spectrum Project Space, Northbridge, WA, Australia


Commission, 3 x 3 Urban Art, Forest Chase, Dept of Cultural Development and Arts, Perth, WA, Australia


Narrator, seven beauties, convened by Domenico de Clario, Albany, WA, Australia


Touring Grant, Art on The Move West Australian Exhibitions, WA, Australia


Awarded studio tenancy, WA Artist Foundation, Old Customs House, Fremantle, WA, Australia


Australia Council Grant, Visual Arts/Craft Board, New Work.


NAVA Award, National Association for the Visual Arts, Pat Corrigan Award


Grant, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies


Commission, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve Visitor's Centre, Dept of Environment, ACT, Australia


The Lyle T. Cullen Memorial Book Prize, Canberra School of Art, Canberra


Commission, Civic Lighting and Signage, Dept of Urban Services, Canberra, ACT, Australia


Materials Award, Canberra School of Art, Canberra, ACT, Australia


Collaborations, artists group coordinated by Vivienne Binns, Canberra


Commonwealth Scholarship to Australia (all-inclusive postgraduate scholarship), The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia


Participant, Sexual play in the Galapagos Islands, Lyndal Jones, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia


Residency, Glasgow School of Art, Post Graduate Program, Glasgow, Scotland


Residency, de vaalserberg, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Postgraduate Scholarship, Art History, Carleton University, Ottawa, ONT, Canada


Graduate in residence, Textiles Studio, Canberra School of Art, ACT, Australia


Victoria Medal for high academic achievement, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


Helen Pitt Award for Visual Arts, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


President's Scholarship, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


Fine Arts Faculty Scholarship, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


Helen Pitt Award for Visual Arts, British Columbia, Victoria, BC, Canada


Flora Hamilton Burns Scholarship, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


Hazel T. Knox Memorial Scholarship, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada


Frank and Margaret Gibbs Scholarship, University of Victoria, BC, Canada

Book chapters

Schwarz, Nien. 2013. “Floating”, in Peters, N. (ed), The Dutch in Western Australia. Western Australia Museum, (forthcoming)

Schwarz, Nien. 2006. “Dutch Artists in Australia: Artiesten in Australie van Nederlandse oorsprong”, in Peters, N. (ed), The Dutch Down Under. University of Western Australia Press, p. 398-413

Published articles, catalogues and essays

Schwarz, Nien. 2013. "Yonder", exhibition review, Art Monthly, September issue

Schwarz, Nien, 2013. “Sculpture@Bather’s,” Artlink, vol 33, no 2

Schwarz, Nien. 2012. “Spaced: Art out of place”, IASKA's Inaugural Biennial Event of Socially Engaged Arts. Artlink, v. 32(2)

Schwarz, Nien. 2011. “Landed: knowing by being there”, Perth: Gregory Pryor, City of Perth, pp 18-25

Schwarz, Nien. 2011. “Nalda Searles, Drifting in my own land”, Art Monthly, issue 242, p. 36-38

Schwarz, Nien. 2010. “Fanciful and forceful: Denise Pepper”, Craft Arts International, v. 80 p. 68-71

Schwarz, Nien. 2010. “Wallpaper”, Artlink, v. 30(3), p.100

Schwarz, Nien. 2009. “Reconstruction works: Paul Caporn”, Artlink, v. 29(3)

Schwarz, Nien. 2008. “Nien Schwarz: Earth matters”, Turner Galleries, exhibition catalogue

Schwarz, Nien. 2006. “Nien Schwarz, Over my shoulder”, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), exhibition catalogue

Peters, Nonja, Nien Schwarz, and Kate Noakes, 2003. “Transpositions: contextualising recent Dutch Australian art”, Art on the Move, exhibition catalogue

Schwarz, Nien. 2001. “Promised land”, Perth International Arts Festival, solo exhibition catalogue, 24p

Schwarz, Nien. 1999. “Beyond familiar territory”, Canberra Museum & Gallery, solo exhibition catalogue.

Schwarz, Nien. 1997. "Moving territory", Muse Magazine, Canberra, October, p.3

Bibliography (selected)

Artlink. 2001. “Art events addressing ecological issues”, Artlink, v. 21(3), p. 70

Canberra National Sculpture Forum 98, exhibition catalogue, Canberra School of Art, 1998

Barron, Sonia. 1998. "Diversions from the ordinary", Canberra Times, May 11

Bevis, Stephen. 1996. “Art on the sand rivals Cottesloe’s tanned torsos”, The West Australian, March 9, p. 3

Baxter, Maggie. 2005. Sculpture by the Sea: artists and the public converge on Cottesloe Beach, Perth for the WA incarnation of the famous Bondi Beach event, 17–28 March 2005, Artlink, v. 25(3)

Bromfield, David. "Sights to make you soar", The West Australian Big Weekend magazine, Feb 10, 2001, p. 6

City of Joondalup, 2012 Invitation Art Award, exhibition catalogue

Clarke, Deborah. 1998. "Canberra National Sculpture Forum", Art Monthly, May, p. 10-11

Cook, Robert. 2007. “Over my shoulder: Nien Schwarz in Perth”, Art Monthly, April, p. 9-12

Davison, Liane. 1994. The Helen Pitt Award. Surrey Art Gallery, BC, Canada

de Clario, Domenico. 2006. Southness: a note from Valparaiso, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), solo exhibition catalogue

Erikson, Dorothy. "Uglie land", Artlink, Vol 22 No 1.

Fremantle Arts Centre, 2010. “Home open”, exhibition catalogue

Gauntlett, Kate. 2001. "For Nien art's clearly in the bag", The West Australian, Feb 5, p. 11

Kenneally, Cath. 1997. "Post-Colonial dreaming", Artlink, v. 17(3), p. 74-76

Mateer, John. 2001. "Earth: Perth International Arts Festival", Art Monthly, March

McLean, Ian. 2001. "Promised land: Nien Schwarz at The Church Gallery", Artlink, v. 21(2), p. 89

O'Brien, Sophie. 2001. Perth International Art Festival Visual Arts Guide, p. 13-14

O’Hehir, Anne. 1999. "Art: Beyond familiar territory,” Muse, April, p. 14-15

Paper Mountain, 2012. “How to talk to a mountain”, exhibition catalogue

Pryor, Gregory. 2006. “Drilling into Vermeer, Earth matters”, Turner Galleries, solo exhibition catalogue

Rolfe, Michael and Daniel Brine. 1998. Twelfth Tamworth Fibre/Textile Biennial, Tamworth City Gallery, exhibition catalogue.

Sculpture by the Sea Inc. 2011 “Sculpture by the Sea: the first fifteen years 1997–2011”, Media 21 Publishing, p.134-5

Smith, Nyanda. 2004. “Inspiring isolation”, The West Australian, August 3, p. 10

Spencer, Ric. 2006. “Insightful works a shore thing”, The West Australian Weekend Extra magazine, March 18, p. 13

Spencer, Ric. 2005. “Sculpture a breath of fresh air”, The West Australian, Mar 26

Spencer, Ric. 2006. “Taking stock of human cargo”, The West Australian Weekend Extra magazine, May 20, p. 13

State Salinity Council of Western Australia. 2001 “Project Wh-Eat, Metis 2001: Wasted”, CSIRO, Exhibitions of Science and Art, exhibition catalogue, p. 78-9

Talbot, Jacky. 1998. "Public art at the Canberra Museum and Gallery", Artlink, v. 18(12), p. 68-69

Talbot, Jacky. 1997. "ACT Public Art Program", National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Newsletter, Dec, p. 4-6

The West Australian. “It’s all in the case of art for the city”, The West Australian, 26 May, 2003.

Thwaites, Vivonne. 1997. “Mapping the comfort zone: the dream and the real”, Artspace, Adelaide Festival Centre, exhibition catalogue

Uhlmann, Paul. 2011. “Dialogues with landscape”, Artlink v. 31(2), p. 150

Wood-Conroy, Diana. "The indelible artisan: Tamworth Fibre Textile Biennial 1996", Object, No. 1, 1997

Public talks


Colours from the Earth, The future of colour, University of Tasmania, Launceston


Geology in art, Earth Science Week 2011, Geological Survey of Western Australia


Buckets and bores, Hydrobotanics Symposium, International Centre for Landscape and Language (ICLL), Edith Cowan University


Floating, International Centre for Landscape and Language (ICLL), Edith Cowan University


Chart exhibition, John Curtin Gallery, Curtin University of Technology


Sensation exhibition, Central TAFE Art Gallery


Hatched, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA)


Hatched, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA)


The Big Tent, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA). Articulations 01: art, activism, aesthetics.  A national public forum coinciding with the Perth International Arts Festival


Plenty More Ore or...? University of NSW, Perspecta, Intersections, Sydney

Qualifications for remote travel and work:


Senior First Aid, St John Ambulance


Geological Survey of Western Australia: four-wheel-drive vehicle safety, maintenance, and communications


Shawsett Four-Wheel-Drive Training: off-road driving and vehicle recovery