Nolan and the author Alan Moorehead travelled to Antarctica in January 1964. Nolan took 200 blank postcards to record his impressions of the landscape over the eight day trip in watercolours, which he used to paint works such as this one in the 18 months following. He was captivated by the colours of the landscape, describing them as ‘black, ochre, dark green, and blue, with an oyster-coloured sky and an indigo sea. The colours appear as if under intense moonlight’.
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on hardboard 121.9 x 121.9 cm © Reproduced with the permission of the Sidney Nolan Trust / Bridgeman Images
Sidney Nolan (1917 – 1992) was an Australian artist. Nolan worked in a variety of media, including paint, photography, print-making and stage design, and is best-known for his series of paintings based on the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly. He travelled extensively throughout his lifetime, creating numerous works inspired by his own experiences, literature, and folklore. Having moved to London in 1951, he was knighted in 1981 and awarded the Order of Merit in 1983. Nolan was also made a Companion of the Order of Australia, elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a member of The Royal Academy of Arts.