Megan Cope to be guest of honour at Institute of Modern Art gala

Quandamooka artist selected for the IMA Annual Gala and Benefit Auction.

Words: Erin Irwin

The IMA Annual Gala and Benefit Auction, held yearly by the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, features performances and an art auction featuring works by preeminent Australian artists in order to support IMA’s exhibitions and commissions. As Australia’s longest-running independent contemporary art space, IMA hosts a vast array of public programs and projects that advocate for cutting-edge Australian art and art practices, and the gala is a key fund-raising enterprise for the institution.

As part of the festivities, the IMA Annual Gala selects an artist to honour for the evening, with past honourees including Richard Bell, Lawrence English, Robert MacPherson, Tracey Moffat, Laurie Nilsen, Madonna Staunton, Nancy Underhill, Jenny Watson, and Judy Watson.

This year’s chosen artist is Megan Cope, a Quandamooka artist from Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) in Southeast Queensland, represented by Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Cope’s multidisciplinary practice encompasses installations, public art and painting, focusing on identity and a sense of place.

“Cope is one of Meanjin/Brisbane’s most dynamic artists”, says IMA Director Robert Leonard, “she explores constructs of time and place in compelling, challenging ways. Audiences are heeding her warnings about pressing environmental concerns and destructive colonial practices.”

Cope’s selection for this honour comes off the back of a busy year in 2022, having had her works exhibited at the Busan Biennale, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane.

This year’s Benefit Auction includes over 50 works of a variety of mediums, which are up for bidding from Friday 21 April until Friday 5 May both in person and online. Attendees can also look forward to a three course dinner by hatted restaurant Agnes, alongside experimental performances by local artists.

To find out more about attending the gala or placing a bid, visit IMA’s website here.

This article was posted 17 March 2023.

Image: Megan Cope with her work RE FORMATION Part III (Dubbagullee), 2017. Courtesy: the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane. Photo: Daniel Boud.


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