Find out about Sonia Payes

Current Exhibitions

BIG Sculpture @ Veg Our St Kilda, Community Gardens St Kilda, Victoria

NOW Contemporary Art Prize, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery, Nowra, NSW (Winner)


William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, Monash Gallery of Art, 5 October – 17 November 2019 (Finalist)



Recent Exhibitions

Scott Livesey Galleries, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, Carriageworks


Lethbridge Small Scale Art Award, Lethbridge Gallery, Paddington, Queensland

2019 CLIP Award exhibition, Perth Centre for Photography, from 31 May

Sculpture in the Valley, 2019, Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales

Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 2019, Winner Courtyard Sculpture exhibition

Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, 2019, Perth, Western Australia


Sculpture Inside, 2019, Perth, Western Australia

This Wild Song,  Town Hall Gallery, Hawthorn, 2018


Mandorla Art Award, Turner Galleries; New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery, 2018

Winter Salon, Scott Livesey Galleries, 2018


Sculpture in the Gardens, Mudgee, New South Wales, 2018

Hillview Sculpture Biennale, Southern Highlands, NSW, 2018

Hillview Small Sculpture Exhibition, 2018


Wyndham Art Prize 2018 Exhibition, Wyndham City Arts and Culture Werribee , 30 March –  10 June, 2018


‘Landfall’ Lorne Sculpture Biennale, 12 March – 3 April, 2018

Lorne Sculpture Small Sculpture Exhibition, 17 March – 2 April 2018

Winton Wetlands Cultural and Environmental Project, Benalla, Victoria, 9 March – 6 April 2018

White Night, Melbourne, Saturday 17 February, 2018




Sonia Payes is a conceptually-based artist working with photography, multi-media, animation and sculpture, who lives and works in Melbourne, Australia. A strong environmental narrative permeates Payes’ works and the cycle of re-creation is explored in her wildly dystopian landscapes. A veil of memory and awareness filters Payes’ works, her images exploring the cycle of transformation form birth to regeneration, charting humanity’s capacity to continually adjust to changes in the earth’s mutable environment.

Payes gained attention with her early portraiture, creating images that both captured and defined her subjects with her photographic essays on 60 Australian artists in UNTITLED. Portraits of Australian Artists published by Macmillan Art Publishing, introduction by Professor Ted Snell, in 2007. Since then she has exhibited in national and international galleries including: McClelland Sculpture Park + Gallery, Melbourne; Fehily Contemporary, Melbourne; Olympia Exhibition Centre, London; Willow Studios, Los Angeles; BOMA Shipping Container Gallery, Queensland; Queensland Centre for Photography, Brisbane; Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne; Queens Wharf, Auckland; Charles Nodrum Gallery, Melbourne; Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne; Cube 37, Melbourne; ACAF, Hong Kong; Shangahi Urban Planning Exhibition Centre, Shanghai; John Curtin Access Gallery, Perth.

In 2012 Payes underwent a two-month art residency at the studio of Shen Shaomin, in the rural area of Qiao Zi Art Commune, in rural Beijing. She won the 2014 McClelland Achievement Prize for her monumental sculptural installation, which was later purchased for public art in the City of Melville through Sculpture By The Sea in Cottesloe Perth. Inclusive in this win was her three-month solo exhibition at McClelland Gallery+ Sculpture Park, Parallel Futures .  In 2017 Payes’s  artist monograph, Transformations: The Art of Sonia Payes, by Ashley Crawford was launched.

In 2017, Payes presented two solo exhibitions simultaneously; at Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne Emergence, uniting her diverse practice in photography and sculpture and a photography exhibition at the Monash Gallery of Art, Wheelers Hill, Victoria;  Artists in PNG Australia, Terra Mysteria.   Payes was also included in Sculpture by the Sea: Bondi, both for outside and inside sculptures, and was a guest artist for White Night, Melbourne 2018. Later that year Payes works featured in several public exhibitions in Regional NSW, both at Hillview and Mudgee and many of her larger works have found permanent homes in private sculpture parks.

2019 began with Payes exhibiting her first large sculptural works in bronze at Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe, Perth.

Payes’ work is represented in numerous public galleries in Australia and prestigious private collections in Australia, Shanghai, Beijing, Switzerland and Belgium.

Payes is represented by Scott Livesey Galleries, Melbourne, Australia.


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