#Nolan100 - No.32

Tarred and Feathered, 1945

Nick Cave


"Sidney Nolan’s paintings mostly tell stories and the stories are often of outcasts and outsiders. This gloriously anarchic painting tells the story of Riverina Dick, who had been tarred and feathered and cast out of the town. Tarring and feathering was the ultimate public humiliation; a shunning, often inflicted on an individual with the tacit approval of the locals. Little is known of the details of the story, but surely the prostrate woman was is in some way at the heart of  the misadventure. Looking at the abject Riverina Dick, one cannot help but see Jesus escorted by soldiers on his way to Calvary, isolated, spurned and full of thorns, like the Grunewald Christ – all under a merciless Australian sky. "

Nick Cave, front man of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is an Australian musician, singer-songwriter, author, screenwriter, composer and occasional film actor. Lovely Creatures The Best of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds is released 5th May 2017.

Sidney Nolan, Tarred and Feathered, 1945, enamel paint on cardboard, 63.5 x 76.1cms, © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust.

Supported By

Arts Council England