2020 Alumnus of the Year - Ballarat


Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting)

Graduation year


One of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists, David Noonan is also one of the most accomplished artists and alums of Ballarat University College, now Federation University, where he studied ceramics, photography and painting. He described this time as 'an inspiring time, with every art form covered and treated with passion and rigour.'

In 1989 David graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting) before going on to further study at the Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne. Since completing his studies David has shown at some of the world’s most prestigious art venues with his work attracting the attention of influential international curators and collectors

Producing works in a range of media including painting, photography, film, printmaking, collage and sculpture, David’s work involves a complex layering of historical and cultural references. He is interested in combining art and traditional craft techniques; and animals, actors and masked figures are recurring motifs that imbue his works with a magical atmosphere.

Since 2005 David has been living and working in London. He has become known for large-scale monochromatic collages on linen comprised of fabrics which are torn, folded, cut, stitched and combined with silkscreened images. This approach was used to produce his 2018 atmospheric film 'A dark and quiet place'.

David has held solo exhibitions in premier institutions worldwide and undertaken art residencies in Australia, England, Scotland, French West Indies and the US. His artwork has been included in biennials, biennales and triennials worldwide with his work shown in over 15 countries.

David’s work is held in numerous international public collections, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Rhode Island School of Design, New York; MOMA, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; LACMA, Los Angeles; British Council, Manchester, UK; MAMCO, Switzerland; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; and locally at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat and Federation University, Ballarat.

He has held lecturing positions at various universities and always had a keen sense of giving back to the arts community. He has held visiting artist positions at Goldsmiths and the Royal Academy in London, both world-leading fine art teaching/practice-based research centres, and runs a not-for-profit gallery, Mackintosh Lane, providing a space for invited artists and curators to experiment and realise new projects.