Jim Sharman to help create new future for NIDA

Boundary pushing creative and NIDA alumnus Jim Sharman (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar) is auctioning 47 works from his highly regarded personal art collection with all proceeds going to seed the creation of the NIDA FUTURE CENTRE.

The NIDA FUTURE CENTRE will be NIDA’s research and innovation lab. It will foster courageous ambitious new ideas for entertainment experiences created through new technologies, new forms, and new relationships with audiences. It will take a global perspective and draw on a diversity of influences from arts, media, interactive entertainment, and generative AI. It will be a space for imagining and inventing the future of entertainment.

The hugely celebrated avant-garde creator and arts mentor has additionally made a significant donation through the Jim Sharman Future Fund towards initial funding of the NIDA FUTURE CENTRE. This includes supporting a triennial Future Award, which will be one of the key activities of the Centre.

The Auction – The Jim Sharman Collection

The public auction will feature 47 artworks from Sharman’s personal collection – paintings, photographs and select stage and film posters – curated by art specialists Adam Sims and Litsa Veldekis of SIMS VELDEKIS for SHAPIRO AUCTIONEERS. The auction will take place on Tuesday June 20 at 6.00 pm both online and in person at the Annex Gallery, 46 Balfour St Chippendale (near White Rabbit Gallery). The works are available to view online now and at the gallery from Thursday 15 June.

The collection includes a masterwork by Tom Polo, major works from important periods of Bill Henson’s career, Archibald-Prize winner Nigel Milsom, Michael Ramsden, Geoffrey Proud, Andrew Purvis, and many others, including for theatre buffs, rare posters signed by Jim for his productions of the musicals Hair and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Martin Sharp’s poster for Jim’s Adelaide Festival and the historic revival of Patrick White’s A Cheery Soul that was the highlight of the inaugural Sydney Theatre Company season.

Comment from Liz Hughes, NIDA CEO:

Jim Sharman has been a trailblazer in the entertainment sector for decades, innovating at every turn. Jim’s vision for the future is well aligned with NIDA’s. We are delighted to be sharing an ambition with Jim to imagine the future of entertainment through cross disciplinary collaboration and courageous experimentation with form and technology. We are very grateful for Jim’s progressive thinking and generosity. It is a pleasure to collaborate with such a visionary.

Comment from Jim Sharman:

NIDA shaped my training and career and it’s wonderful to collaborate to give these funds to support such an important next step with the creation of the NIDA Future Centre and Award. This will enable future creatives the opportunity to explore and imagine the future in arts and entertainment.

I enjoy art and artists across a wide spectrum and over the years have gifted works to public galleries. I’m not a collector in the commercial sense, these works were acquired because I knew the artist, or I loved the work, but mostly because I was inspired by it. I’ve enjoyed them and now it’s time to share them with others – past and present artists helping to fund artists of the future.

Jim Sharman has created over 80 productions, many of which had a transformative effect in Australia and internationally. His groundbreaking work has traversed stage and screen, including opera and musicals. His productions include three era-defining musicals – Hair (Sydney, Tokyo, Boston), Jesus Christ Superstar(Australia, and 9 years in London’s West End) and The Rocky Horror Show (UK, USA, Australia) – as well as countless premieres and radical interpretations of classics, including works by Shakespeare, Mozart, Strindberg and Brecht.

A NIDA graduate in 1966, Jim was Artistic Director of the influential Lighthouse (State Theatre of South Australia) and the 1982 Adelaide Festival, bringing Pina Bausch to Australia. Jim revived and premiered plays by Patrick White and directed the premiere of Richard Meale’s opera Voss, based on White’s novel. Among his film work, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the longest running film in the history of cinema. He is the recipient of the JC Williamson Centenary Lifetime Achievement Award. His memoir, Blood and Tinsel, was published in 2008.

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