Nolan: The Man and the Myth

NOLAN from Flaming Star Films on Vimeo.


We're pleased to share that 'The Man and The Myth' that premiered in Australia on ABC, will be shown here on Sunday 20th January at 9pm on BBC Four. The film title changes to 'Nolan: Australia's Maverick Artist' for BBC Four, however the content remains the same. Produced by Flaming Star Films and supported by us, at Sidney Nolan Trust, the film reflects on Nolan's time in Australia and here in the UK.

Melbourne, London and The Rodd were homes to Nolan and when questioned of his nationality 'the singular answer he gave his Australian colleagues in Folkestone: Earthling.' - Transferences: Sidney Nolan in Britain, by Dr. Rebecca Daniels. This idea of Nolan travelling and settling across the globe is captured within the film, along with his drive to innovate and experiment in every piece he produced.

We see Nolan's life through his paintings, including the iconic Ned Kelly series, and thus ending at The Rodd with the haunting spray paintings some of you may have seen last summer in our gallery. 


'The subject's voiceover at the start reflects on the unique quality of Australia's dappled light and, from there, this beautifully composed portrait of artist Sidney Nolan grows into a thoughtful and illuminating reflection on his life and work. Featuring interviews with family members, as well as contributions from art critics, curators, historians and gallery directors, it introduces a charming and ambitious man who was proud of his working-class origins and became an avid traveller.

Impressions from those travels were captured in a range of paintings, including series on Central Australia, Africa and Antarctica. As well as his better-known work, such as the iconic Kelly paintings, the film devotes attention to lesser-known but notable efforts, such as the Adelaide Ladies and the Aboriginal Deaths in Custody series. While emphasising Nolan's enthusiasm for new tools and technology, it also takes in his pioneering pieces involving animal carcasses and his passion for Polaroids.

Directed by Sally Aitken, who also wrote and directed David Stratton's Stories of Australian Cinema, which recently received an International Emmy Award nomination, this is a polished profile of a tirelessly creative man and a remarkable career.' - Review in The Sydney Morning Herald.

'The film shows Nolan’s unexamined work in new light, exploring the range of experimental, innovative qualities that marked him as one of the world’s truly great painters in the 20th century - a man ahead of his time, exploring digital manipulation in its early incarnations, experimenting with desiccated carcasses many decades before Damien Hirst, and taking selfies before Instagram was thought of.' - Review from BBC Four

Image: Sidney Nolan by Michel Lawrence