Artist Ben Quilty receives Honorary Doctorate

Barney Glover & Ben Quilty

Professor Barney Glover and Dr Ben Quilty

Graduation Citation

Dr Ben Quilty is an Australian artist who won the inaugural Prudential Eye Award for Contemporary Art in Singapore in 2014, the 2011 Archibald Prize, and the 2009 Doug Moran National Portrait Prize.

Dr Quilty studied visual communication and design at the University of Western Sydney, graduating in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts (Design). Dr Quilty also graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts – Painting from the Sydney College of the Arts at the University of Sydney in 1994, and a Certificate in Aboriginal Culture and History from Monash University in 1996.

A multiple finalist, Dr Quilty won the Archibald Prize in 2011 for his portrait of Australian artist Margaret Olley. It was his seventh entry to the prize. In 2009, he won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize, Australia's most lucrative portrait prize, for a painting of Australian musician Jimmy Barnes. His painting Dead (Over the Hills and Far Away) won the National Artists Self Portrait prize in 2007. Dr Quilty was also awarded a Brett Whiteley Travelling Art Scholarship in 2002. 

Dr Quilty's career encompasses numerous solo exhibitions, including Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong in 2015, Galerie Allen Paris in 2014, Saatchi Gallery London in 2014, 'Inhabit' GRANTPIRRIE (Sydney) 2010, 'Ben Quilty' Jan Murphy Gallery (Brisbane) 2009, 'Ben Quilty LIVE!' University of Queensland Art Museum 2009, and 'Critical Impact' GRANTPIRRIE 2009. 

His work is held in numerous institutional collections including the Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, the Art Gallery of South Australia, and the Art Gallery of NSW. Dr Quilty has guest lectured extensively and is a former board member of Artspace in Woolloomooloo.

From the 11th of October until the 3rd of November 2011, Dr Quilty was attached to the Australian Defence Force observing their activities in Kabul, Kandahar and Tarin Kowt. His task was to record and interpret the experiences of Australian service personnel who are deployed as part of Operation Slipper.

After his return, Dr Quilty spent six months producing work for the Australian War Memorial's National Collection. Such work is in the tradition of war artists that began in World War I with artists Arthur Streeton, George Lambert and Frederick McCubbin.

Dr Quilty's experiences as a war artist, and the work he produced as a result of it, was explored in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Program 'War Paint', part of the Australian Story series, which screened in September 2012. 


15 April 2015

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