Meet… Sidney Nolan
Random House Australia, 2015
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
I recently evaluated the 759 section of an established primary school library collection, the section that could be best described as ‘painters and their paintings’. While there was a solid representation of those European artists that could be expected, there was nothing relating to our Australian painters, particularly those of the 20th century. So I was delighted to see that the latest in the Meet… series, that collection of biographies about iconic Australians for primary students, addressed the life and times of Sir Sidney Nolan. Its focus is the story behind the distinctive Ned Kelly paintings (available via Scootle MO12591).
As a boy in Victoria, Nolan loved to listen to the stories about Ned Kelly told to him by his grandfather who was a police officer at the time. It inspired his imagination in many ways and so when circumstances of World War II had him on the run rather like the Kelly gang, an idea was sparked and an signature series of images was created. And from that grew a new and different way to show this country’s amazing landscape making his style and works instantly recognisable, both in Australia and beyond. There is now a permanent display of his works at the Canberra Museum and Gallery and together with the tools available on that site, this new addition to this series is perfect for enabling younger students to begin to learn about the legacy of this great Australian.