In 1952 the Courier Mail, Brisbane, commissioned Nolan to record the devastation caused by the drought in Queensland and the Northern Territory. Nolan took photographs and made drawings of the thousands of dehydrated animal carcasses he found strewn across the landscape, twisted by the dangerous heat. He later used these drawings and pictures to create paintings such as this one – a giant petrified cow carcass dominates the scorched landscape.
Carcase in Swamp
Date of work
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.