Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Society Fellow, Ben Quilty, awarded an Honorary AHA Fellowship

Ben QuiltyIn November 2023, the Society was delighted to learn that the distinguished artist and Society Fellow, Ben Quilty FRSN FAHA, had been inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Ben Quilty, who lives and works in Gundungurra Country, south of Sydney, is widely known for his thick, gestural oil paintings. As noted in the AHA citation, his works often serve as a reflection of social and political events; from the current global refugee crisis to the complex social history of Australia, he is constantly critiquing notions of identity, patriotism, and belonging.

Quilty won the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize in 2009 and the Archibald Prize in 2011 with his portrait of the artist, Margaret Olley. In 2011, he travelled to Afghanistan as an official war artist with The Australian War Memorial and was invited by World Vision Australia to travel to the Middle East with the author, Richard Flanagan, to witness the international Syrian refugee crisis in 2016. In 2019, the Art Gallery of South Australia presented the first major survey exhibition of Quilty’s work. The exhibition toured to the Art Gallery of NSW and QAGOMA. In 2010, Quilty was a member of the NSW State Government Arts Advisory Committee, assisting the Arts Minister on the most effective structure for their Arts Vision. He served a nine-year term as a Board Member of the Art Gallery of NSW finishing in 2021 and in the same year founded and opened Ngununggula, the first Regional Gallery to exist in the NSW Southern Highlands.

The Council of the Society extends its sincere congratulations to Ben Quilty on this honour that recognises his substantial artistic contributions that reflects for others the anguish of trauma and the challenges of service.

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