Working in a university I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by art, most of which is on loan from the university collection. And on my journey into our technical stores I was blown away to see an original Sidney Nolan etching – tucked away in a small hallway, near a store room. The work is fairly common knowledge among the staff in the area.
The etching entitled “Untitled (Burke and Wills III)” was created in 1982 on handmade arches wove paper commonly used for water colours. The romantic in me would like to think of Nolan, in his English county studio feeling nostaligic for his homeland, pulping and drying paper and etching drawings of doomed Australian explorers. Burke and Wills were a familiar theme in Nolan’s works, first popping up in the 1940’s around the same time that he started his Ned Kelly paintings. I love how he continued exploring this them over a good chunk of his lifetime.
In any case I will be making more trips across to the store room, just to stand, admire and ponder at my new discovery.