In 1948 Nolan travelled to remote areas of Australia from New South Wales to Adelaide, then to Darwin and onto Sidney. This immense journey was made by aeroplane, boat, truck and train, and this painting is inspired by an aerial view of the Australian desert. Nolan called this work a ‘composite impression’ – painting his experience of the landscape as both factual and imaginative observation.
Date of work
Original: Oil paint on hardboard 121.9 x 152.4 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.