Sidney Nolan: Gallipoli
24 August - 6 September 2015
11.00am - 5.00pm
April 25th 2015 marked one hundred years since Australian and New Zealand troops spearheaded the landing of Allied forces on the Gallipoli peninsula, on the western shore of the Dardanelles. The landings proved ineffectual and within days, the soldiers faced waves of costly Turkish counter-attacks. The troops were eventually evacuated in December 1915 and January 1916 after a campaign that saw the loss of 214,000 men.
During the winter of 1955/56 Sidney Nolan and his wife Cynthia were living on the Greek island of Hydra. At this time there was a small international community of artists living on the island that included the Australian novelist George Johnston and the Canadian born Leonard Cohen. Whilst there Nolan was reading his friend Alan Moorehead’s book Gallipoli that had been written on the nearby island of Spetsae. Johnston recalled that reading about Gallipoli was for Nolan "like unlocking a door… we would talk into the small hours about this other myth of our own, so uniquely Australian and yet so close to that much more ancient myth of Homer’s."
This exhibition, part of the Presteigne Festival 2015, features a selection of the many remarkable works on paper that Sidney painted between 1958 and 1963 and that represent the beginning of an obsession with the subject that lasted over 20 years.