Re-discovered Nolan images include a second 1947 “Mrs Fraser”

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in Heide, Nolan | 1 comment

ABSTRACT. Sidney Nolan’s 1947 painting Mrs Fraser, now in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery, is one of his best known works. I recently discovered an image of a companion work, along with images of several other hitherto unreported works from the February 1948 exhibition of twelve Fraser Island paintings at Moreton Galleries in Brisbane. There now remains just one of the dozen with no known image.     BACKGROUND Sidney Nolan turned 30 on 22 April 1947. His...

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Sidney Nolan interviewed by Michael Heyward, London, 5 April 1991

Posted by on Dec 8, 2013 in Heide, Malley, Nolan | 1 comment

Interviewed endlessly, Sidney Nolan became the consumate interviewee. Apparently relaxed and in his element, he deftly handled questions to reveal as much or as little of himself as he chose, or to cast on events and people alike the emphasis he wished. Listening to the tapes, reading the transcripts – it is he who sets the pace, the interviewer who follows. This trend is much less evident in a late interview with Michael Heyward in May 1991 just eighteen months before he died –...

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“Autumn Laing” – an appreciation

Posted by on Jun 5, 2012 in Heide, Nolan | 0 comments

  Seldom, I suspect, has an Australian novel met with the rapturous critical acclaim showered on Autumn Laing, Alex Miller’s latest and seemingly greatest offering.  When it appeared late last year there were accolades aplenty: ‘a novel of bravura intensity and insight,’ …. ‘inhabited by characters whose reality challenges our own.’ …. ‘a novel in which facts are forever being bent to the service of ideas,’ …. ‘a...

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Nolan’s “Mrs Fraser”: Reconstruction and Deconstruction

Posted by on Apr 13, 2012 in Heide, Nolan | 6 comments

Abstract: Sidney Nolan’s painting Mrs Fraser has long been regarded as emblematic of his animosity towards Sunday Reed. Painted on Fraser Island only months after he left Heide never to return, the work has inflamed viewers for more than 60 years.  Nolan’s time at Heide and Eliza Fraser’s rescue from ‘savages’ a century earlier are so well known as to demand little retelling. Nolan lived in a ménage à trois at Heide with Sunday and John Reed and departed in...

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Eliza’s landfall

Posted by on Apr 12, 2012 in Comment, Heide, Nolan | 1 comment

Abstract: Both Sidney Nolan and Sunday Reed are associated with Eliza Fraser – he through his paintings, and she through his linking of her and Eliza in the theme of betrayal.  The essay Threads and the paper Mrs Fraser: Reconstruction and Deconstruction both examine this relationship.  This article provides a more detailed account of Eliza Fraser’s time on Fraser Island and her rescue, and examines in detail the role of the two convicts John Graham and David...

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Posted by on Mar 22, 2012 in Comment, Heide, Nolan | 0 comments

‘I have gathered a posie of other men's flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is my own.’ Montaigne. This present essay traces the threads that bind the lives of six figures from Australia’s past: Eliza Fraser, David Bracewell and Ludwig Leichhardt in the nineteenth century, and Sunday Reed, Sidney Nolan and Patrick White in the twentieth; who if not all national icons, have nevertheless left their mark in legend, culture, art and literature. They make an unlikely sextet: the earlier trio steeped in adventure, one willingly, the others less so, all treading new paths across a hostile land; the later trio steeped in art and literature, each in their own way also treading new paths across the artistic landscape of that same continent.

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