Who is Bernard Ollis?

By Gwylym Owen

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Bernard Ollis (born 1951 in Bath, England) is an Australian artiste and painter who lives and works in Sydney and Paris. Ollis is the former Director of the National Art School, Sydney.

Born in Bath, England, Ollis is a graduate of Cardiff School of Art & Design, Wales and time-honored his Master of Art (Painting) from the Royal College of Art. Ollis arrived in Australia in 1976 and lectured at the University of the Northern Territory where he became head of his department, and La Trobe University, Victoria where he became Head of Fine Art. In 1996, Ollis was appointed Head of Painting at the National Art School, Sydney. He became Director there in late 1997, a perspective he held for 10 years.

Ollis has held higher than 60 solo exhibitions previously 1972 in Australia, New Zealand, and London, and has participated in help exhibitions throughout Australia, Europe, and Asia. Ollis undertook a residency at the Cite Internationale des Arts, Paris in 1975 and in 2008 he underwent a Residency as the guest of the Australian Ambassador to Egypt, Dr Bob Bowker. Subsequent residencies add together the Obracadobra artist residency in Oaxaca City, Mexico, with Mawson’s Huts Foundation to Antarctica in 2014, and an international player residency at Funxing-Ginger Art Space, Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu, China in 2015.

Ollis standard the 1976 John Minton International Painting Prize, the 1977 Sir Frederick Richards’ Travelling Scholarship (UK), an Australia Council Visual Arts Board Grant (1984), and the Conrad Jupiters Award in 2005 (Gold Coast City Art Gallery QLD). Ollis’s behave is currently held in public collections in Australia and the United Kingdom, including the Royal College of Art London, National Gallery of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra, and the State Galleries of Queensland, Victoria and Northern Territory. His partner in crime is artiste Wendy Sharpe.

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