Sunbury’s Bonnie Hanlon scoops Hume Arts award

Photo: Luke Hemer

There’s not one single moment that Sunbury’s Bonnie Hanlon can look back on and think “that’s when I became an artist”.

“It’s just always been a part of what I do,” she says.

Hanlon, 30, won the award for emerging visual artist at last week’s Hume Arts awards.

She was recognised for a collection of works, including painting, drawing and collage, that explored a range of subjects.

“I started taking [art] seriously after I graduated,” the former RMIT fine arts student says. “I felt really lost during uni because there is no one way to be a professional artist, you have to find your own way.

“It was after my first solo show that I realised I had to work really diligently if I wanted to keep producing.”

Hanlon, who completed VCE at Kyneton Secondary College, says she also realised her art would need to fit in around paid employment.

“I [knew I] would have to work as hard as I could, as constantly as I could,” she says.

She now manages a framing shop in Fitzroy, allowing her to meet other artists every day.

“It’s great … I see a wide variety of artworks.”

Hanlon says different mediums “seduce” her at different times. “My joy comes from exploring and working with those materials.”

The concept of belonging is one that often ties her works together.

“Over the last few years, those ideas have expanded from a personal to a more universal understanding. I work closely with ideas relating to cosmology. It’s a constant source of wonder and amazement for me that these elements coalesced in just the right way for us to ponder how it happened.”

See Hanlon’s works at