Nyoongar painter and natural fibre weaver and sculptor, lives in Fremantle, Western Australia. Egan's work is held in the collections of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology and the National Museum of Australia.
Sharyn Egan is a Nyoonar woman who was born in Subiaco (Western Australia) in 1957. At the age of three Egan was taken from her family and placed in the New Norcia Mission until she was thirteen years old. She never again saw her parents. Her work of oils, natural ochres, resins and acrylics on canvas as well as natural fibre woven sculptures is informed by this experience and comments upon the associated trauma, emotions and a deep sense of loss and displacement amongst Aboriginal people.
In 1994, at the age of thirty-seven, she began creating art, which led to her enrolling in a Diploma of Fine Arts at the Claremont School of Art in Perth. She completed this course in 1998 and immediately enrolled in the Associate Degree in Contemporary Aboriginal Art offered by Curtin University of Technology – she completed this in 2000. In 2001 she was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Arts) from CUT. She was awarded a Certificate VI in Cultural Tourism in 2003 and a Certificate VI in Training and Assessment in 2008. In 2009 Egan enrolled in the Certificate III course in Visual Art and Contemporary Craft run by art teacher Joanna Robertson at the Kidogo Institute in Fremantle.
Egan has participated in many exhibitions throughout her educational career including 'Expression through Diversity’, 2000 (Graduation show, CUT); 'On Track: Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Western Australia’ – a touring show of works from the collection of the Berndt Museum of Anthropology in 2004; 'Noongar Country’ in 2008 and 2009 at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries; 'Show Off’ (2, 4 & 5) at the City of Cockburn in 2005, 2008 and 2009 respectively; and 'Moorditj Mob’ in 2009 at Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle.
In 2000 Egan assisted Sandra Hill with the exhibition 'Walking Together’ at the Moores Building in Fremantle, after which she has co-curated and curated exhibitions including the 2001 and 2002 student art exhibition for the Mundjah Festival, as well as 'Walyalup Dreaming’ in 2004 at the Moores Building.
In 2000 she began working as a public artist when the City of Cockburn commissioned her to create a sculptural work at Little Rush Lake in Yangebup. In 2004 the City of Subiaco commissioned her to work on a collaborative mural for the Nash Street pedestrian and vehicle underpass. The other artists were Francis Italiano, Michelle Hovane and Melanie Evans, an Indigenous artist from Wagga Wagga, NSW. In 2006 Egan was engaged to work on a 10×8m canvas collaboration, Ngullak Koort Boodja (Our Heartland), with Shane Pickett , Lance Chad , Troy Bennell , Alice Warrell and Yvonne Kickett. The images these artists designed represented all the different Aboriginal groups that are located in the south-west of Western Australia. The canvas became the centrepiece of the 2006 Perth International Arts Festival. Egan was once again commission by the City of Cockburn, this time to create a mural at the Bibra Lake Recreational Centre. Then in 2008 she assisted in a mosaic work for the City of Kwinana.
Egan has worked as a lecturer of art and in training and assessment for Swan and Challenger TAFE Colleges. In 2008 she was appointed a Peer Panelist for the Indigenous Arts Assessment Panel for the Western Australia Department of Culture and the Arts, and in 2009 the same department appointed her as a panelist for their Disability in the Arts Assessment Panel.
In 1999 Egan shared first prize with Peter Farmer in the 'Town of Vincent Bibbulmen Traditional Art Award’ and in 2007 and 2008 she won first prize in the 'Wolsely Art Award’ (City of Bunbury). Her work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Australia, the Berndt Museum of Anthropology (University of Western Australia), the City of Bunbury, the Town of Vincent, the City of Cockburn and the City of Fremantle.
In 2009 Egan was living and working in Yangebup near Fremantle.