aCOMMENT on “Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed”

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Heide, Nolan | 1 comment

I’m writing this fresh from the book launch at Heide of Modern Love: The Lives of John and Sunday Reed, and yet another familiar roam through the old Heide farmhouse where much of these lives played out and where is now hosted an accompanying exhibition of the same name. This first biography of the Reeds, by Heide curators Lesley Harding and Kendrah Morgan, is the second in a 2015 biographical trilogy that covers four central weavers in the fabric of Australian Modernism: John and...

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aCOMMENT: on Nancy Underhill’s “Sidney Nolan: a life” – a terrible beauty is born

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Heide, Nolan | 1 comment

Dr Nancy Underhill’s new Nolan biography Sidney Nolan: a life is very good.   The first biography to really look at his life as a whole1 rather than in segments bearing on a particular theme or exhibition, it will become a classic standard text. And deservedly so.     Having regard to Sidney Nolan’s much avowed Irishness, I once worked out that he was just two days old on the first anniversary of Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising. This new...

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The Menage at Soria Moria

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Heide, Nolan | 2 comments

INTRODUCTION . The Ménage at Soria Moria is a fictitious two act solo performance piece exploring the relationship between Sunday Reed and Sidney Nolan. Their story, particularly the heady days at Heide during the 1940s until Nolan left in July 1947, is well documented. Soria Moria also examines the less well known degeneration in their relationship over the next 35 years. In particular it imagines what might have prompted Nolan’s increasing animosity. The play is dedicated to...

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“First Class Marksman” – Taking aim at provenance

Posted by on Oct 16, 2014 in Heide, Nolan | 2 comments

Sidney Nolan’s 1946 painting First Class Marksman is unique on a number of counts. It is the only one of the so-called first series Kellys which was not painted at Heide;1 it is the only work in the first series not in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia;2 it is the one work in the series described by Nolan himself as being pivotal;3 and it holds the record price for a painting by an Australian artist.4 However First Class Marksman is far from...

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Ern Malley: The Hoax and Beyond

Posted by on Jul 24, 2014 in Heide, Malley, Nolan | 1 comment

  Ern Malley first visited Heide in the late spring of 1943. He returned 66 years later in July 2009 to read his poems during an exhibition which examined the genesis, reception and repercussions of the hoax through a range of art works and archival material. The exhibition included a selection of remarkable images by Sidney Nolan, Douglas Robert’s satirical portrayal of Max Harris’ trial, facsimiles of surrealist collages by hoaxer Harold Stewart and works by contemporary...

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“Absolutely Modern” – Absolute Must

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Heide, Nolan | 3 comments

  Based on the story of 1940s Heide, Philippe Mora’s recent film “Absolutely Modern” tells of Modernism, the female muse and the role of sexuality in Art.     “We know that certain minds can create an order in the chaos of appearances which other minds can contemplate with delight.  We know that certain eyes can see in nature shapes and colours to which our eyes were blind”.  So wrote Sir Kenneth Clark in his 1945 essay Art and Democracy just...

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