Sidney NOLAN

Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) was one of Australia's best-known painters and printmakers.

Nolan never relied upon one style or technique, but rather experimented throughout his lifetime with many different methods of application, and also devised some of his own. Nolan was inspired by children's art and modernist painting of the early 20th century. During this time many younger artists were veering towards abstraction, Nolan remained committed to the figurative potential of painting.

Nolan painted a wide range of personal interpretations of historical and legendary figures, including explorers Burke and Wills, and Eliza Fraser. His most famous work is a series of stylised descriptions of bushranger Ned Kelly.

Nolan wanted to create and define episodes in Australian nationalism, to retell the story of a hero. A hero which now has become a metaphor for humankind - the fighter, the victim, and the hero - resisting tyranny with a passion for freedom.

For his contributions to art, Nolan received a knighthood in 1981 and the Order of Merit in 1983; in 1988 he was made Companion of the Order of Australia.