Patrick Heron visited Sydney, Australia, between 1967 and 1973, and he exhibited at the Bonython Gallery. During the Sixties and Seventies, he lectured around the world culminating in a book, 'The Shape of Color', in 1978. 1979 brought about a commission to design two carpets for the foyer of the Cavendish Hotel in London, followed two years later with a commission to design a tapestry for the University of Galway in Eire.
In 1979, his wife died and Patrick Heron could not paint for a few years. In 1989, he returned to Sydney, Australia, and worked from the Art Gallery in New South Wales. Heron produced over 50 paintings while working as Artist in Residence at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney and these represented an artist who was still developing in terms of his techniques with which to represent the natural world using unlikely juxtapositions of color and original compositions. In 1996, Patrick Heron collaborated with his son-in-law Julian Feary in setting up an outdoor artwork installation titled Big Painting Sculpture. He continued to paint until the day before he died in 1999 in Cornwall, England. His works can be seen in museums around the world.
Although working in the European tradition, one can also see aspects of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning in Patrick Heron's work. As well as painting and tapestry design, he has also designed a stained glass window for the Tate Gallery in St. Ives and designed a kneeler to encircle the Henry Moore altar at St. Stephen Wallbrook in London.