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Sidney Nolan hits UTAS Academy Gallery

Academy Gallery director Malcom Bywaters with Australian War Memorial director of art Lola Wilkins begin to unpack Nolanís Gallipoli series at Inveresk.

An exhibition of works by one of Australia’s greatest modern artists, Sidney Nolan, is about to go on public display at the UTAS Inveresk campus, in a first for Northern Tasmania.

UTAS Academy Gallery director Malcom Bywaters said negotiations over getting the exhibition to Tasmania had been underway for more than three years.

The exhibition comprises more than 80 works by Nolan, predominantly focused on his Gallipoli series, and has been loaned to UTAS by the Australian War Memorial.

The exhibition will be open to the public, free of charge, 9am to 5pm, from Monday to Friday, until mid-October.

Staff, students and the general community are invited to the official opening of the exhibition on Friday, August 5, from 6pm at the Academy Gallery.

Special weekend openings and guided tours are also being organised, with the first weekend opening set to take place on Sunday, August 21.

 “It is very exciting to be working with the Australian War Memorial, which has a superb art collection,” Mr Bywaters said.

“This is the only Tasmanian venue for this exhibition, which is a national touring exhibition.”

Nolan (1917-1992) is perhaps best known for his 1946-47 series featuring Ned Kelly, now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia.

He began painting his Gallipoli series in 1956, influenced by the death of his brother Raymond just before the end of WWII.

“Back in 1978 Sidney Nolan very generously presented the Australian War Memorial with 250 works, so this exhibition of 80 works [is] a selection of those works,” Ms Wilkins said.

“This series really shows Nolan’s preoccupation with, and interpretation of, the Gallipoli legend.

“Nolan was born in 1917, right in the middle of WWI, and growing up as a young child in Melbourne he was very aware of the veterans who came back to Australia.

“Many of them were maimed, either psychologically or physically.”

Ms Wilkins said Nolan had been a prolific artist, and she hoped Tasmanians would take the opportunity to see the exhibition.

“A lot of people only know Nolan’s work from the Ned Kelly series. But I think a lot of people will be surprised to learn that he tackled an amazing, extraordinary story like Gallipoli.”

Picture: Academy Gallery director Malcom Bywaters with Australian War Memorial director of art Lola Wilkins begin to unpack Nolan’s Gallipoli series at Inveresk.

Published on: 03 Aug 2011 3:15pm