#NOLAN100 - NO.42

Roses in a Merric Boyd Vase, c.1978-1982

Jack Galloway

“In the early 1980s my wife Tessa (Mary Nolan's daughter) and I used to visit Sid and Mary at their London flat by the Thames. That was where I first saw this beautiful painting, Roses in a Merric Boyd Pot.  It was painted not long after Sid came to stay with Mary in Herefordshire.

Merric Boyd (1888-1959) was Mary's father, a renowned Australian potter.

To me, the painting conveys a deep serenity and reflects the joy and harmony Sid and Mary enjoyed in their early days together.

Sid and I shared a great love of Rimbaud's poetry and we often talked about his work together.”


Flowers by Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891)

From a golden slope--among silk ropes,

grey veils, green velvets,

and crystal discs that blacken like the bronze of the sun

I watch the foxglove open

on a carpet of filigree,

eyes and hair. Pieces of yellow gold

scattered over agate, mahogany pillars supporting

an emerald dome, bouquets of white satin

and delicate sprays of rubies

surround the water-rose.

Like some god's enormous blue eyes

staring from within a silhouette of snow,

sea and sky attract a crowd

of strong young roses to the marble steps.

Jack Galloway, actor

Sidney Nolan, Flowers in a Vase, c.1978-82, Ripolin on board, 91.5cm x 48cm, © Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust 


Supported By

Arts Council England