About the artwork and sitter
Laurie Nilsen, born in Roma with Aboriginal and Norwegian ancestry came to Brisbane aged 16 to be a jockey. He studied commerical art and worked in education before getting serious about his own art. He became an accomplished artist whose work encompassed cultural, political and environmental concerns.
He was one of the founders of Fireworks Gallery, was a foundation member of the Campfire Group Artists established in 1990 and proppaNOW Artists Collective established in 2003. For 24 years Laurie lectured in Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith University Brisbane.
David Paulson, who also taught at QCA, knew Laurie for over 30 years and commenced this portrait in January 2020 as Laurie’s health was failing. Sadly, Laurie passed away in March 2020.
About the artist
David Paulson has established himself as a master draughtsman with a longstanding reputation as a teacher of life drawing. Although David works predominantly in oil painting, his classical understanding and contemporary reading both of the figure and the landscape remains the foundation for his art and ideology. David has been a finalist three times in the Archibald Prize
“I first met Laurie during his teenage days at Queensland College of Art and shared many stories and events with him.”
Behind the scenes
I first met Laurie during his teenage days at Queensland College of Art and shared many stories and events with him. He was a larrikin and an artist dedicated to issues concerning Aboriginal people.