Gala Honours Laurie Nilsen and Jenny Watson News

Gala Honours Laurie Nilsen and Jenny Watson

31 May 2021

The 2021 IMA Gala and Benefit Auction honours two seminal Australian artists: the late trailblazing urban Indigenous artist Laurie Nilsen, and conceptual painter Jenny Watson. Join us in recognising their significant contributions to the arts at The Calile Hotel Friday 18 June.

Laurie Nilsen was one of the first Indigenous artists to have work acquired by the National Gallery of Australia. Born in Roma, Southwest Queensland and hailing from Mandandanji country, his practice as both an influential artist and teacher spanned over forty years. Laurie was a founding member of the seminal Campfire Group and the renowned artist collective, proppaNOW. He exhibited at the IMA in 2005 as part of Shoosh! The History of the Campfire Group, and is widely known for his sculptures, paintings and works-on-paper featuring his totem, the emu.

Jenny Watson is a leading Australian artist whose practice spans more than four decades. She first exhibited at the IMA in 1980 with a solo exhibition titled Six Paintings, preceded by group exhibitions Minimalism (1983), The Brisbane Sound (2008), and Playtime (2014). Jenny continues to show her work at major galleries both nationally and internationally. Highly personal yet universally resonant, Jenny’s contribution to feminist artistic discourse in Australia is beyond compare.

Secure your Gala tickets here.

Left: Laurie Nilsen, 'There goes my neighbourhood III', 2007 pastel & acrylic on canvas. 180 x 150cm. Courtesy the artist & FireWorks Gallery. ⁠ Right: Jenny Watson, 'First Beer', 2018, synthetic polymer paint, Japanese pigment, haberdashery attachments⁠ on rabbit-skin-glue-primed Belgian linen, 272 x 201 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney.⁠

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.