This is Kelly the defiant. I put Kelly on top of the horse in a particularly orderly manner. I wanted an air of perfect authority. It looks simple but I wanted the maximum feeling of space, so the cloud appears through the aperture in the mask.
- Sidney Nolan.
Thought I would kick this blog off with a quintessential Australian artwork by one of Australia’s most famous and important artists depicting an Australian icon. Ned Kelly, the notorious bushranger (horse riding bandit), needs no introduction to Australians, but for uninitiated international audiences: Kelly represents the unyielding anti-authoritarian spirit beloved by Australian national mythology.
Sidney Nolan has said that his three inspirations for the Kelly series are the words of Kelly, the influence of Rousseau and sunlight. Nolan’s focus on sunlight best exemplifies the significance of the Ned Kelly series beyond its primary historical subject. Nolan is as much concerned with rendering the unique Australian landscape as he is capturing the irreverent outlaw. Nolan says the Kelly saga was ‘a story arising out of the bush and ending in the bush’:
I find the desire to paint the landscape involves a wish to hear more of the stories that take place in the landscape … which persist in the memory, to find expression in such household sayings as “game as Ned Kelly”.
- Reblogged from antipodeans
Christian Thompson (2008) Australian Graffiti. (06-10)
- Source: christianthompson.net
Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack. Desolation: Internment Camp, Orange, N.S.W. 1941.
Print, relief. Woodcut, printed in black ink. Printed image 21.8 h x 13.4 w cm, sheet 25.0 h x 20.0 w cm.
Hirschfeld-Mack (1893–1965) was born in Frankfurt, Germany. Biographer Tim Roberts writes that Hirschfeld-Mack studied art, most notably Bauhaus, with a keen interest on experimenting with colour and light. He was multi talented. He built a machine to play moving projections; he was a musician; and he also performed on stage. Hirschfeld-Mack was forced to immigrate to Britain in 1936 when the Nazi Army rose to power. This was due to the fact that he was partly Jewish, and in spite of the fact that he was a decorated lieutenant who served in the German Army in WWI.
Hirschfeld-Mack was deported to Australia in 1940 for being an ‘enemy alien’. He was moved around three detention centres for two years (Hay and Orange in New South Wales and Tatura in Victoria). Throughout this time, he continued to paint with whatever meagre materials he could muster. He also taught his fellow detainees about art.
Desolation, Hirschfeld-Mack’s piece above, makes a devastating comment about his experiences resulting from WWII.
Roberts chronicles that Hirschfeld-Mack was released from detention in 1942 due to the sponsorship of Sir James Darling, headmaster of Geelong Church of England Grammar School. Hirschfeld-Mack became the school’s art teacher, putting on elaborate exhibitions of his students’ work and he continued to paint, write, create and exhibit his own work. His sponsor and patron, Darling, said of Hirschfeld-Mack: “He was an almost perfect man… a beautiful character and an original teacher”. One of his pupils said Hirschfeld-Mack was a
serene, quiet man—so fair that he glowed with the pale radiance of saints in stained-glass windows.
- Reblogged from antipodeans
The Lady from the Sea, 2012.
Photographed at the World Theatre Festival. Brisbane Powerhouse, 24 February, 2012.
The Lady from the Sea is a production borne from a collaboration between Topology (a contemporary musical group from Brisbane) and the Abhinaya Theatre Research Centre of Thiruvananthapuram (India).
It is based on a play by Ibsen, in which an unhappily married woman, inwardly obsessed with thoughts of the ocean, is confronted by a long-lost lover who tells her she must choose: to sail away with him or never see him again.
Ibsen’s play explores themes such as individual happiness and social convention, but the story also carries more ancient echoes.
Source: The Australian.
- Source: theaustralian.com.au
Albert Tucker (1943) Images of Modern Evil: Spring in Fitzroy.
- Source: saatchi-gallery.co.uk
Anton Bruehl, 1935, Portrait of Marlene Dietrich, Hollywood.
Direct positive colour photograph National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Gift of American Friends of the National Gallery of Australia.
- Source: artmuseum.qut.edu.au
The Naracoorte Caves are located along the Limestone Coast, Mount Gambier in South Australia. The Wonambi Fossil Centre writes:
Palaeontologists have been studying the fossils and bones found in the caves for over 30 years. From them they have been able to determine the range of species that made up Naracoorte’s ancient animal communities. Around 120 species of vertebrate animals have been recorded to date. They represent four of the major vertebrate groups: amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The interpretive centre also shows you how the caves have acted as pitfall traps, dens and roosts for more than 500,000 years, leading to a vast accumulation of skeletal remains of reptiles, birds and mammals.
Photos: John White, 2011, Naracoorte Caves. Via John White Photos on Flickr.
- Source: Flickr / johnwhite