– Highlights


Primavera 2017

23 Aug - 19 Nov


Hilarie Mais

23 Aug - 19 Nov

Mca Collection

MCA Collection: Today Tomorrow Yesterday

01 Sep - 31 Dec

– Learning Events


Art Safari

22 Sep, 1.00pm, Level 3: National Centre for Creative Learning



23 Sep, 2.00pm, Level 2: Veolia Lecture Theatre



24 Sep, 6.00pm, Throughout the MCA

– News from inside the MCA

Six Films that Changed My Life (for better or worse): Laura Hindmarsh

Primavera 2017 artist Laura Hindmarsh shares six films ahead of her specially curated edition of Art + Film on Saturday 16 September. more

The Many Guises of Jenny Watson

We’ll take you through some of Watson’s many alter egos that are currently housed in our Level 3 Galleries. more

Fresh picks for Father's Day

Discover the gifts that will help you spoil your dad this Father’s Day. more

– Spotlights from the collection online

MCA Collection

Works from the MCA Collection

Collection Artist Interviews

Watch our latest interviews in the MCA Video Portal

Joint acquisitions by MCA and Tate

The Program promotes Australian art globally, helping Australian artists reach new audiences.

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

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

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