Sidney Nolan, Back of Beyond Drawings

24th November 2017 - 11th January 2018, British Museum, London

A display in the Prints and Drawings Department (Room 90) of Nolan’s ‘Back of Beyond’ drawings, in which he confronts the horrors of the Australian drought and presents a starkly tragic vision of the Australian outback. In June 1952, Nolan had travelled into the Northern Territory with his then wife Cynthia to record the worst drought in living memory in a series of drawings for the 'Courier-Mail' newspaper. Nolan took photographs of the drought-stricken devastation and made notes in his diary. Together with his later experiences on the Birdsville Track, these became source material for his series of pictures of cattle carcasses painted in 1953 his studio in Sydney and for his subsequent drawings in London, a selection of which are on display in this exhibition. 

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG. Opening Hours: Daily 10.00–17.30, Fridays: open until 20.30. 

Sidney Nolan, I named the hill Mount Hopeless, 1954; Carcass of a dead cow curled up with skeletal frame, 1954; Down the main street out into the hills and perish, 1954.

British Museum. Presented by Lady Mary Nolan. © Sidney Nolan Trust. 

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