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6 ways to warm up your winter at MCA

Got the winter blues? Melt them away at the MCA. more

Unmapping: Charting New Pathways to Creativity

Artist Educator Ella Condon created a site specific work for Unmapping – a student program run in collaboration with Sydney Story Factory and MCA. more

The Beats Behind Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Learn about the music and melodies that have inspired artist Jenny Watson through the decades. more

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Blog – The Beats Behind Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy

Posted on July 12, 2017 by MCA Team in Curatorial. View Comments

When you wander through an art exhibition, do you ever wonder what inspired the works? Was it a memory from childhood? A book? A movie, perhaps? Well, for Jenny Watson, one of her key influences was the musical tunes of the swinging 60s London and a punky 70s Melbourne.

As MCA Curator Anna Davis tells us:
‘Jenny was living in St. Kilda during the late 1970s. She was going out to nightclubs and seeing bands and quickly became a part of the early Melbourne punk scene that was a blend of music, art and fashion.’

Jenny found herself immersed in this punk scene, and along the way met musicians whose names we bet you’d recognise today. One of these musicians was a young Nick Cave, who was a student of Jenny’s before quitting art school. He invited her to what turned out to be the very first Boys Next Door gig (ever heard of ‘em?), and apparently, inspiration hit. Jenny painted portraits of the band members, which you can see hanging in Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy here at the MCA.

It’s all about bringing together music and art. In the ‘Music Room’ within the exhibition, you can hear a specific playlist that features the sounds of Jenny’s life, like the music of Nick Cave.

If you can’t wait until the exhibition, check out Jenny Watson’s Spotify playlist. She has created a collection of tracks that have inspired her throughout the decades and enhances your experience of the artwork. Full of all-time classics like The Beatles, The Doors and The Rolling Stones, you’ll be bobbing your head and tapping your feet instantly.
Follow the Spotify playlist to hear the beats behind the brushstrokes of Jenny Watson: The Fabric of Fantasy.

'Portrait for Nick' by Jenny Watson

Image: Jenny Watson, 'Portrait for Nick’, 1977 © the artist, photograph: Anna Kucera

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