Marlene Gilson

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 Gilson’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.

Gilson is a descendant 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 Precolonial and Postcolonial 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 in 2014. Her work has been shown at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) 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.


21 September – 3 February
Open 10am – 5pm daily

Selected works


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