In The art that made me, artists discuss works in the Art Gallery of NSW collection that either inspire, influence or simply delight them. This selection by Nigel Milsom first appeared in Look – the Gallery’s members magazine.
Nigel Milsom knows the Art Gallery of NSW collection well, having worked as a Gallery Services Officer in the 2000s. 'I spent four years as a GSO there and raced home to paint every day,' he says. 'I saw it as another part of my art education. I even used to paint there. I’d go downstairs to the painting workshop and do text pieces and stuff.'
It didn’t always endear him to his bosses, he confesses, but his dedication to his art eventually paid off, despite personal battles that culminated in a prison term in 2013. In 2012 he won the Sulman Prize, in 2013 the Doug Moran National Portrait Prize and last year he returned to the AGNSW as the winner of the Archibald Prize. When Look visited Milsom’s Newcastle studio, the artist was preparing for an upcoming solo exhibition of painting, video and sculpture.
'You can’t let things like an Archibald define you,' he recently told the Newcastle Herald. 'My ultimate goal is to be always surprised by what I do. I aim to be intrigued by what paint can do as a medium.'