Marlene Gilson - Ballarat
Aunty Marlene Gilson is a Wathaurung (Wadawarrung) Elder living on country in Gordon, near Ballarat. A visual artist who discovered painting later in life, Aunty Marlene’s paintings explore Aboriginal myth and stories of the goldfields. Her work is marked by a naive style which references her Indigenous and European ancestry. She is a descendent of King Billy, an Indigenous tribal leader of the Ballarat region at the time of the Eureka Stockade and his wife Queen Mary. Aunty Marlene positions Koorie stories within the context of these pre and post colonial times which are often absent in the understanding of Australian history.
Gilson’s first exhibition was in 2012 at the Art Gallery with her daughter Deanne Gilson. She was a finalist in the Victorian Indigenous Art Award in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and she received the Koorie Heritage Trust Reconciliation Award. Her work has been shown at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum, ACCA, M.A.D.E and The Koorie Heritage Trust. Her work is included in collections including the National Gallery of Victoria, City of Melbourne, Art Gallery of Ballarat and Australian Catholic University.