#Nolan 100

No.29 Thames - John Tooley


No.29 Thames - John Tooley

I first met Sidney in the mid-1950s, a short time after his arrival in England with his wife Cynthia when they came to take up residence in the UK.

He was standing at the end of the bar at the Royal Opera House, a favourite spot, where he was only too happy to be engaged in conversation. By this stage in his artistic development his thoughts and ambitions were roving widely over the world and he was meeting many distinguished people of cultural standing who were interested in him as an artist and who welcomed him into their circle.

One of these was Benjamin Britten. Sidney's passion for music naturally drew him to the composer, but he was drawn not only to the music but also to Ben's intellectual ideas. Sidney much admired the set-up in Snape, with its music festival and the opportunities for providing a stimulating artistic environment, particularly in a rural setting. He wanted to create something similar and spent years, frequently in conversation with Ben, who became a lifelong friend, formulating ideas as to how another such artistic centre might be established. It took a long time to achieve, but by the 1980s, with his third wife Mary, he at last managed to buy a suitable house and land in Herefordshire where he could create an organic farm and, potentially, a centre for the arts. This was The Rodd.

Meanwhile Sidney had forged a close relationship with the Royal Opera House and he and I became good friends. In 1964, to Sidney's delight, he was invited by Kenneth MacMillan to design the sets and costumes for a new production of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. The subject matter and the vivid score provided just the right inspiration for Sidney. The production was a huge success and contributed to the growing recognition of Sidney Nolan as an important theatre designer. That production, with Sidney's designs, is still running to this day at Covent Garden.

Once Sidney had settled with Mary at the Rodd, he moved to establish a Trust which would secure the future of the organic farm, the promotion of his work and the execution of his educational ideals. He asked me if I would be a trustee, and sometime after his death Mary asked me if I would become Chairman. These were roles I took on with great pleasure for some twenty years. Sidney would have been thrilled to see the extent to which the Sidney Nolan Trust is realising the dream he had so long ago."

Sir John Tooley has played a crucial role in the development of opera, music and ballet in the UK. He was General Director of the Royal Opera House 1970–88 and, amongst others, has also been involved with the Britten Estate, Welsh National Opera, Almeida Theatre, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Salisbury Festival. He was Chairman of the Salisbury Cathedral Girl Choristers Trust and of the Salisbury Cathedral Fabric Advisory committee. He was made Commendatore of the Italian Republic in 1976 and knighted in 1979. He chaired the Sidney Nolan Trust for 20 years until 2012.

Sidney Nolan: Thames, 1962, polyvinyl acetate on hardboard, 122x122cm, © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust.

No.1 - Four Abstracts - Alexander Downer

No.2 - Self Portrait - Angus Trumble

No.3 - Arabian Tree - Kendrah Morgan

No.4 Riverbend I - Francine Stock

No.5 - Desert - Andrew Logan

No.6 Dog and Duck - Jane Clark

No.7 Vivisector - Tim Abdallah

No.8 In the Cave - Rebecca Daniels

No.9 Young Soldier - Clare Woods

No.10 Ned Kelly - Shaun Gladwell

No.11 Bird - Deborah Ely

No. 12 Hare in Trap - Nicholas Usherwood

No.13 Untitled (Catani Arch, St Kilda) - David Rainey

No.14 Death of a Poet - Simon Martin

No.15 Study for Samson et Dalila - Elijah Moshinsky

No.16 Rimbaud at Harar - Edmund Capon AM OBE

No.17 Quilting the Armour - Jackie Haliday

No.18 Snake - David Walsh

No.19 Angel and the Tree - Dr Nicky McWilliam

No.20 Brian the Stockman at Wave Hill Mounting a Dead Horse - Damian Smith

No.21 Steve Hart Dressed as a Girl -Jennifer Higgie

No.22 Women and Billabong - Anthony Plant

No.23 Agricultural Hotel - Philip Mead

No.24 Policeman in a Wombat Hole - Kay Whitney

No.25 Peter Grimes - David Lipsey

No.26 Self Portrait in Youth - Barry Pearce & Duncan Fallowell

No.27 Riverbend I - Ian Dungavell

No.28 Drowned Soldier at Anzac as Icarus - Paul Gough

No.29 Thames - John Tooley

No.30 Girl - Amelda Langslow

No.31 Ned Kelly and Policeman - Daniel Crawshaw

No.32 Tarred and Feathered - Nick Cave

No.33 Self Portrait - Denise Mimmocchi

No.34 Peter Grimes's Apprentice - George Vass

No.35 The Emu Hunt - Roger Law

No.36 Luna Park - Paula Dredge

No.37 Rose in Coffee Pot - Anthony Collier

No.38 The Cardplayers - Nevin Jayawardena

No.39 Bathers - Lesley Harding

No.40 Aboriginal Girl - Jennie Milne

No.41 Pretty Polly Mine - Michael Brand

No 42. Roses in a Merric Boyd Vase - Jack Galloway

No 43. Brett Whiteley - Jonathan Watkins

No 44. Island - Nick Yelverton

No 45. Luna Park - Bill Granger

No 46. Face of the Damned - Kate McMillan

No 47. Central Australia - Leanne Santoro

No 48. Crane - Brian Adams

No 49. Myself - Simon Mundy

No 50. Going to Work, Rising Sun Hotel, 1948 - David Ferry

No 51. Figure at Harar - Andrew Turley

No 52, Greek Figures - Simon Pierse

No 53. Randolph Stow - Suzanne Falkiner

No 54. Landscape No.27 (Convalescence) - Suzanne Falkiner

No 55. Self portrait - Oliver McCall

No 56. McMurdo Sound - Mike Clements

No 57. Faun, Woman, Rider, Horse - Mark Fraser

No 58. Season in Hell (Benjamin Britten) - Anne Bean

No 59. The Slip - Humphrey Ocean

No 60. Central Australia - Chris Drury

No 61. Riverbend - Christina Slade

No 62. Head - Celia Johnson

No 63. Myth Rider - Desmond Browne

No 64. Stockman - Bridget McDonnell

No 65. Untitled (flower) - Roma Piotrowska

No 66. Chinese Landscape - Celia Perceval

No 67. Untitled - Des Hughes

No 68. Crucifixion - Rod Bugg

No 69. Icebergs - Laurence Hall

No 70. Bather in a Lily Pool - Amanda Fitzwilliams

No 71. Breaks like the Atlantic Ocean on my head - Michael Berkeley

No 72. Carcase in Swamp - Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva

No 73. Ern Malley - Isabella Boorman

No 74. Mrs Reardon at Glenrowan - Adrian Kelly

No 75. Landscape Carnarvon Range, Queensland - Catherine Noske

No 76. Abraham and Isaac - Sarah Bardwell

No 77. Rosa Mutabilis - Catherine Hunter

No 78. Artist drawing nude - Victoria Lynn

No 79. Boy and the moon - Natalie Wilson

NO 80. Explorer and Township - Helen Idle

No 81. All Tastes Like Dust in the Mouth... - Carolyn Leder

No 82. Young Boy Who Was Good at Latin - Roxy Shaw

No 83. Mrs Fraser - Anne Carter

No 84. Paradise Garden - David Oliver

No 85. Leda and the Swan - Marilyn Sweet

No 86. Burke and Wills at the Gulf - Jenny Watson

No 87. Dream of the latrine sitter - Ryan Johnston

No 88. Footballer - Gerard Vaughan

NO 89. Sketch for Ned Kelly - Amanda Fuller

NO 90. Woman in Lagoon - Jinx Nolan

No 91. Cherries in a bowl - Peter Blake

No 92. Fountain - Heywood Hill

No 93. Artist and painting - Charles Nodrum

No 94. Death of Constable Scanlon - Anita Taylor

No 95. Untitled (abstract) - David Jaffe

No 96. Digital image - Joe Studholme

No 97. Seated figure and bird - Sally Aitken

No 98. Burke and Wills expedition 'Gray sick' - Gary Sangster

No 99. Kangaroo at Ayers Rock - Pru and Anthony Napolitano

No 100. The Galaxy - Elizabeth Langslow