Bernard Ollis

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

Born in Bath, England, [1], Ollis is a graduate of Cardiff School of Art & Design, Wales and received his Master of Art (Painting) from the Royal College of Art. Ollis arrived in Australia in 1976 and lectured at the University 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 position he held for 10 years.

Ollis has held about 50 solo exhibitions since 1972 in Australia, New Zealand, and London, and has participated in group exhibitions throughout Australia, Europe, and Asia.[2] 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 include the Obracadobra artist residency in Oaxaca City, Mexico, with Mawson's Huts Foundation to Antarctica in 2014, and an international artist residency at Funxing-Ginger Art Space, Zhouzhuang, Jiangsu, China in 2015.

Ollis received 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 work 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 is artist Wendy Sharpe.

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2017 Observations, Mitchell Galleries Brisbane (May)
  • 2017 Favourite Places, Harvey Galleries Seaforth and Mosman, Sydney
  • 2016 Run Ya Artspace Linyi China
  • 2016 Cultural Exchange of Australia and China, Linyi Arts Centre Shandong
  • 2016 Storytelling about China - Shanghai Cultural Centre & Art Gallery China
  • 2016 Open Studio – Travel Paintings, Linton and Kay Galleries, Perth WA
  • 2016 Travels to Paris, Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Seaforth, Sydney NSW
  • 2015 Brisbane and Beyond, Mike Mitchell Fine Art Gallery, Brisbane, Queensland
  • 2015 Bernard Ollis: 54 Works at Michael Reid Gallery, Berlin, Germany
  • 2015 Observations of Paris, NG Gallery, Sydney
  • 2015 Theatre of Life, Buratti Fine Art, Perth, WA
  • 2015 Antarctica- Shackleton, The Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
  • 2014 Bernard Ollis, Kenthurst Galleries, NSW 2014 Le Regard de deux Australiens, L’Espace Beaujon, Paris, France
  • 2014 Traveller’s Tales, Tweed River Regional Gallery, NSW
  • 2013 A Town Like Paris, Muk Muk Fine Art, travelling show to Alice Springs, Darwin, Brisbane
  • 2013 Paris Work, Buratti Fine Art, Perth 2012 – 13 Modern Living: Bernard Ollis. A survey of the work of Bernard Ollis, Manly Art Gallery and Museum, Sydney
  • 2012 Paris Considered, NG Art Gallery, Sydney 2012 Parisian Reflections, Letham Galleries, Auckland, NZ
  • 2011 Paris Revisited, NG Art Gallery, Sydney
  • 2011 Major Works, Buratti Fine Art, Perth
  • 2010 Italy 19Karen Contemporary Artspace Gold Coast, Queensland
  • 2009 The Grand Tour, United Galleries Perth WA
  • 2009 Journeys through Italy and Egypt, NG Art Sydney NSW 2008 Urban Myth, United Galleries Perth WA
  • 2008 Incognito NG Art, Chippendale Sydney NSW
  • 2006 The St Peters Suite Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney NSW
  • 2002 Stella Downer Galleries, Sydney NSW
  • 2001 Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney NSW
  • 2000 Michael Nagy Fine Art, Sydney NSW
  • 1998 Mary Place Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1998 Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney NSW
  • 1997 Hot Bath Gallery, Bath UK
  • 1996 Australian Galleries, Melbourne Victoria
  • 1994 Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria
  • 1993 Botanical Gallery, South Yarra Victoria
  • 1992 Retrospective Paintings and Pastels Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1991 Powell Street Gallery, South Yarra Victoria 1990 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1989 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1988 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1998 Roz McAllen Gallery, Brisbane Queensland
  • 1987 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW Powell Street Gallery, South Yarra Victoria
  • 1984 – 1986 Visual Arts Board, “Bernard Ollis” The Australian Tour; exhibited at:
    • Under croft Gallery for the Perth Festival
    • University of Western Australia
    • Hawthorn City Art Gallery, Victoria
    • Warrnambool Art Gallery, Victoria
    • Ararat Gallery, Victoria
    • Mildura Arts Centre, Victoria
    • Shepparton Regional Art Gallery, Victoria
    • Muswellbrook Art Gallery, NSW
    • Bathurst Regional Gallery, NSW
    • Orange Art Gallery, NSW
    • Benalla Art Gallery Victoria
    • Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, NSW
    • Bendigo Art Gallery Victoria (extended survey exhibition)
  • 1984 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1982 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1981 Macquarie Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 1978 Warehouse Galleries, South Melbourne Victoria
  • 1976 The Africa Centre Covent Garden, London UK
  • 1976 The Royal Commonwealth Society, London UK
  • 1974 – 1975 Commonwealth Institute Gallery, London UK
  • 1972 – 1973 College of Art Gallery, Cardiff Wales

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2016 Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, NSW
  • 2015 Three Australians, Gallery 12, Auckland NZ
  • 2015 New Romantics (with Wendy Sharpe and Johnny Romeo), Penny Contemporary Gallery, Hobart, Tasmania
  • 2015 Private Lives: Collections, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
  • 2011 Dobell Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
  • 2011 IN[TWO]ART, Maitland Regional Art Gallery touring exhibition
  • 2010 Salon des Refuses, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
  • 2010 ‘Tales from the City’, Two person exhibition with Wendy Sharpe, Orange Regional Art Gallery
  • 2009 ‘Every Dog has its Day’, Letham Gallery Auckland NZ
  • 2008 United Galleries, Perth WA
  • 2008 Contemporary Drawing London University of the Arts Wimbledon Art Col, England
  • 2008 ‘Vernissage’ Oxford Street Gallery, Melbourne Victoria
  • 2008 ‘Drawcard’ National Art School Gallery, Sydney New South Wales
  • 2007 ‘Fragile Planet’ NG Art Gallery, Sydney New South Wales
  • 2007 ‘Salon des Refuses’ SH Ervin Gallery, New South Wales
  • 2007 SCEGGS Redlands Art Prize
  • 2007 Mosman Art Prize
  • 2007 ‘There is no place like home’ NG Art Gallery, Sydney New South Wales
  • 2006 Hong Ik University Gallery, Seoul South Korea
  • 2005 ‘Drawcard’ Cell Block Theatre National Art School, Sydney New South Wales
  • 2005 ‘Dog Trumpet’ Michael Nagy Gallery, Sydney New South Wales
  • 2005 ‘Drawing the Line’ Cell Block Theatre National Art School (academic staff exhibition)
  • 2005 Art Space, Bendigo Victoria
  • 2005 Lake Macquarie Invitation Prize, University Gallery Sydney NSW

Awards and Prizes

  • 2015 Artist Residency in Zhouzhang, China
  • 2014 Mawson’s Hut Foundation artist-in-residence, Antarctica voyage
  • 2008 Australian Embassy, Artist-in-Residence Studio, Cairo Egypt
  • 2005 Conrad Jupiter Art Prize Gold Coast City Art Gallery Queensland
  • 2000 Olympic Arts Festival 1992 Selected by Melbourne Theatre Company for season’s brochure
  • 1989 Selected for Sydney Children’s Choir catalogue
  • 1988 Heritage Arts Festival Award, Queensland
  • 1984 Visual Arts Board Australia, Council Grant
  • 1983 Commissioned series of paintings for Napoleon Brandy Advertising Campaign
  • 1982 Gold Coast City Art Awards, Queensland
  • 1977 Sir Fredrick Richards’s Travelling Scholarship (drawing), UK
  • 1976 John Minton International Painting Prize, London UK
  • 1975 Artist-in-residence Maltese Studio International Youth Arts Festival British representative
  • 1975 Artist-in-residence Paris Studio Cité Internationale des Arts France

Institutional Lecturer

  • 1998 – 2009 Director National Art School (Sydney)
  • 1997 – 1998 Head of Studies National Art School (Sydney)
  • 1996 – 1997 Head of Painting Department National Art School (Sydney)
  • 1994 – 1996 Senior Lecturer/Head of Fine Art La Trobe University (Victoria)
  • 1982 – 1994 Head of Painting La Trobe University (Victoria)
  • 1982 Acting Head of Visual Art Department Darwin Community College (University Northern Territory)
  • 1978 – 1982 Head of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture Section Darwin Community College (University Northern Territory)
  • 1977 – 1978 Lecturer Fine Art Darwin Community College (University Northern Territory)
  • 1974 – 1976 Visiting Lecturer Various British Art Schools


In the Permanent Collection of:[3]

External links


  1. ^ Fortescue, Elizabeth (21 March 2011). "Going back to future". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 6 November 2013. BERNARD Ollis likes to say he went to Paris an art student and came back an artist. The year was 1974 and Ollis, born on a council estate in the UK city of Bath, had won a scholarship while studying at the Royal College of Art in London, where his teachers included David Hockney 
  2. ^ Burratti, Robert (2013). The Streets of Paris. Perth: Burratti Fine Art. 
  3. ^ Buratti, Robert (2012). The Art of Bernard Ollis. Perth: Buratti Fine Art. pp. 73–74.