Cate Barham

Natural Illustrations

Growing up in the Grampians – Gariwerd in Western Victoria, I have an inherent love of Australia’s rich and unique biodiversity. Furthermore, from a very young age I enjoyed nothing more than drawing the days away. Career, academic and volunteer achievements in natural resource management allowed me to refine a love of biodiversity, science and illustration. I followed my passions to Newcastle NSW, where I studied Natural History Illustration.

Through applied study and Honours research, I have developed an adaptable methodology that encompasses a variety of traditional and digital media (ink stippling, watercolour, acrylic, graphite). Contextual and field research, combined with reflective studio practice research, is integral to creating scientifically robust illustrations. Particular passions include, entomological illustration, frame by frame hand drawn animation and children’s book illustration.

Recent projects include Honours research examining the communication of science and biodiversity through a children’s picture book. ‘The Naiads’ is waterway health themed and encourages custodianship of our biodiversity, while also addressing social justice issues. Aquatic freshwater ecosystems are a recurring feature of my artwork and was the theme of my Margaret Senior Prize folio in 2016, for which I achieved a highly commended. I recently won best in show in the Laman Street Art Prize. 

If you identify with my illustration practice and passion for science communication, and would like to work with me, please be in touch.

Cate Barham