Sidney Nolan
Centenary 2017

The Trust instigated a highly successful nationwide programme of exhibitions, special events and important publications to mark the centenary of Sidney's birth in 2017.

18 February - 4 June: ‘Transferences: Sidney Nolan in Britain’, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester. Curated by art historian and SNT Trustee Dr Rebecca Daniels, this major exhibition charted Nolan’s time living and working in Britain, focussing on the recurrent themes in his work of Australian history and literature, mythology and tragic hero/ anti-hero. The exhibition brought together some of Nolan’s most iconic images, with works loaned from Tate and other organisations and individuals, and also highlighted Nolan’s life-long interest in music and theatre with a display of his set and costumes designed for Royal Ballet’s 1962 production of the Rite of Spring. Catalogue available from our online shop. [link to shop]

3 March: Nolan in Britain Symposium, Menzies Centre, King’s College London. Speakers included Nicholas Usherwood, Shaun Gladwell and Kate McMillan, moderated by Jonathan Watkins, Director, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham.

21 April - 5 May: Unseen: Works from the Sidney Nolan Trust Collection, Australia House, London. Featuring paintings from the Trust collection, many of which had never been shown in public, and a display of four large-scale spray-painted abstracts, his final major works, reunited for the first time since his death.

22 April: Symposium, Royal Academy of Arts, London

25 April: Sidney Nolan at 100 – Still Radical, talk by Simon Mundy, poet, novelist, biographer, friend of Nolan and SNT Trustee, at Highgate Cemetery, London. Simon Mundy’s 2017 biography of Nolan will soon be available from our online shop.

25 May: Formal opening of Nolan’s studio at The Rodd, Herefordshire, by Mrs Nicola Downer AM.

30th May, 2.30pm: Germaine Greer talk on Sidney Nolan at the Hay Festival.

26 May - 29 August: Sidney Nolan's Studio and 'Reflections' exhibition at The Rodd.

10 June - 3 September: Nolan, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Nolan's powerful spray painted portraits and heads, created towards the end of his life, which place his work in a modern context. Catalogue will soon be available from our online shop.

16 June: Nolan Symposium, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Speakers included Dr Kate McMillan, Dr Ian Henderson, Clare Woods and Tim Maguire.

July-September: Looping the Loop, a young people’s project co-produced by the Ikon Gallery and The Trust, supported by the Arts Connect Partnership Investment Fund.

24-29 August: Presteigne Festival of Music & the Arts. The 2017 festival featured a recital in memory of Sidney’s wife, Mary Nolan, who died in 2016, together with a talk by Dr Simon Pierse and a screening of the Nolan documentary, Such is Life, with director and biographer Brian Adams.

30 September 2017 - 28 January 2018: Sidney Nolan and Graham Sutherland: A Sense of Place, Oriel y Parc, St David's. Exhibition organised in partnership by the National Museum Wales and the Sidney Nolan Trust. The gallery at Oriel y Parc is a partnership between Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

24 November 2017 – 11 January 2018: Back of Beyond, Nolan drawings, British Museum, London.

The Nolan 100, a birthday tribute from 100 individuals worldwide, ran throughout 2017. See more here.

A BBC/ABC co-produced TV documentary on Nolan is currently being filmed, for screening in the UK and Australia later in 2018.


The 2017 Nolan Centenary programme was delivered by the Sidney Nolan Trust with the logistical and marketing services of Emma Parker, Penny Harris and their team at Parker Harris, and Press & PR services by Iliana Taliotis.

The 2017 Nolan Centenary programme was made possible with the support of a large number of individuals and organisations, for which The Trust is enormously grateful. [link] We would also like to extend our thanks to all those who visited the exhibitions, attended the events, bought the publications, read the Nolan 100 contributions and shared their interest, enthusiasm, memories and inspiration with us during the year. We are continuing to collate and evaluate everything that came our way and feed it into our plans for the future.

The Nolan 100

The Nolan 100 is a birthday tribute to Sidney Nolan from 100 individuals worldwide. In 2017 we invited people who knew Sidney, worked with him, or have been influenced by his work or his legacy to choose a ‘favourite’ Nolan work and tell us why. We shared these choices throughout the year here and on Instagram - #Nolan100.

No 47. Central Australia - Leanne Santoro

Central Australia is one of the highlights of the AGNSW’s Nolan, and indeed Australian art, collection. Emerging from …

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No.17 Quilting the Armour - Jackie Haliday

I’ve chosen Quilting the Armour because my interest lies in how this Sidney Nolan painting quietly disarms the Ned Kelly…

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No 79. Boy and the moon - Natalie Wilson

It has been likened to a lavatory seat; to the rising plume of debris thrust into the atmosphere following an atomic blast…

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