News

The latest news and updates from The Sidney Nolan Trust, including our latest press releases and announcements.

Press Release 31/08/22

MAKE

Sidney Nolan Trust launches a second strand of creativity and making work for young people.

From Monday 19 September, a new weekly arts and creative club for 10 – 14 year olds, MAKE, will run weekly at The Old School Building (Youth Centre), Hereford Street, Presteigne. Young people will be able to get hands-on with a wide range of art making from painting and drawing to animation, photography and sculpture. The club is FREE to attend thanks to generous support from The Ashley Family Foundation. Set up by The Sidney Nolan Trust, MAKE extends the charity's work with young people.

Antony Mottershead, the Sidney Nolan Trust’s Creative Producer commented;

“Since developing our Cultivate programme for 15 – 25 year olds, we wanted to increase our work with young people locally and provide something for the younger ages. We are really looking forward to starting the club, and as with Cultivate, the club will emphasise lots of experimental and fun making.
Whilst most of the Trust’s activities takes place at The Rodd, we realise that our rural location can be a barrier, particularly for young people, so we wanted to address this by running creative projects in the town of Presteigne.”

This Autumn and Winter, MAKE participants will work with creative themes including scale and illumination and take inspiration from contemporary artists' work.

MAKE
Every Monday from 19 September 2022 onwards
Arrive from 3.30pm (drinks and snacks available)
Make from 4.00 to 5.00pm
The Old School (Youth Centre) Hereford Street, Presteigne, LD8 2AT

To find out more and to sign up please email antony@sidneynolantrust.org
Please visit www.sidneynolantrust.org/learning/make for full details.
Email: info@sidneynolantrust.org
Tel: 01544 260149

15 - 25 years old? Why not join us at Cultivate www.sidneynolantrust.org/learning/cultivate


Press Release 20/07/22

Ngawiya. Ngubadi (To Give With Love)

A major exhibition opening in Herefordshire provides a rare opportunity to enjoy and purchase artworks by some of the Aboriginal art movement’s pioneering artists.

A major exhibition of original Aboriginal artworks is set to open to the public next week at the Sidney Nolan Trust, located nr. Presteigne. The exhibition will feature work by over twenty indigenous Australian artists, many significant in the development of contemporary Aboriginal visual culture.
Works by pioneering artists including Barbara Weir, Evelyn Pultara, Tuppy Goodwin and Morris Gibson Tjapaltjarri are on show, alongside new work by two emerging Aboriginal painters, Bristol-based Wiradjuri-British Jasmine Coe, and Gadigal artist Kate Constantine.

Painting - Kate Constantine

Antony Mottershead, the Sidney Nolan Trust’s Creative Producer commented;

“I am so pleased that we are able to show such a fantastic exhibition of Aboriginal paintings here at The Rodd. Visitors from Herefordshire, the Marches and further afield will be able to see some of the finest examples of indigenous Australian art. Throughout Sidney Nolan’s own career he was fascinated by Aboriginal culture. He made several important artworks and series that celebrate indigenous knowledge and also responded to the mistreatment and inequality perpetrated by white colonial settlers.”

Kate Constantine will be artist-in-residence at the Trust for a four-week period during the exhibition, exploring the Trust’s collection and Sidney Nolan's archive to develop a new body of work, as well as running workshops.

The exhibition is organised in partnership with Aboriginal Art UK, who specialise in the ethical purchase of artworks direct from aboriginal artists and artist communities. All of the artwork in the exhibition is available for purchase.

Sir Sidney Nolan, one of Australia’s most famous modern artists, founded the Trust in 1985. Today the Trust cares for his former home and estate at The Rodd, a large collection of his artwork, photography and personal archive. The Trust hosts an exciting programme of exhibitions, events, learning activities, workshops and residencies.

Visitors to The Rodd can explore 17th century Rodd Court, the gardens and historic farm buildings, as well as Nolan’s studio. A pop-up café serves tea, coffee and cake.

Exhibition Dates 21 July – 1 October 2022
Opening times, 11.00 – 16.00, Thursday – Saturday


Press Release 12/05/22

New exhibitions open 26 May

The former Herefordshire home of the famous Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan opens its
two latest exhibitions on Thursday 26 May.

In Dreaming The Land, Fiona McIntyre expresses an imaged landscape inspired by a synergy
of objects and place. Through a series of successive mini-residencies, the painter,
draftsperson and printmaker has conjured a substantial and extraordinary body of new
artwork which is presented in the Library of 17th century Rodd Court.

McIntyre’s art is underpinned by drawing. The artist spent short winter days engaged with
the immediate location and flora of The Rodd, drawing at the river or in Rodd Woods. If the
weather was too unkind, she retreated indoors to focus on strange and fantastical artefacts
such as an Elephant skull from Nolan’s personal archive.

New paintings are infused with the dynamics of the weather and light in this border
hinterland and also with Nolan’s unique vision - strange perspectives are at play. Alongside
drawings and paintings, the exhibition includes new etchings and wonderful examples of the
artist’s sketchbooks which are an important part of McIntyre’s making process.

In tandem with Dreaming The Land, a series of Sidney Nolan’s late spray paintings known
collectively as the Celtic Image are shown in the main gallery. The large monochrome
canvases were created in 1987 following the artist’s final visit to his ancestral home in the
Burren, County Cork, Ireland. A forth-generation Australian of Irish descent, Nolan wore his
‘Irishness’ as a badge of honour and used it to help shape an anti-establishment persona.

It is the first time the complete Celtic Image has ever been shown in the UK and the
exhibition investigates Nolan’s lifelong fascination with ancient civilisations and cultures whilst
revealing his return to abstraction during the last ten years of his life at The Rodd.

Fiona McIntyre: Dreaming The Land, 26 May – 1 October 2022
Sidney Nolan: The Celtic Image, 26 May – 16 July 2022

Visitors to The Rodd can explore 17th century Rodd Court, the gardens and historic
farm buildings as well as Nolan’s studio. A pop-up café serves tea, coffee and cake.

Opening times, 11.00 – 16.00, Thursday – Saturday.


Press Release 20/03/22

Exhibitions, workshops and events - 2022 season at The Rodd

The Sidney Nolan Trust is delighted to announce a wide-ranging series of exhibitions, events and workshops in 2022.

The former home of the famous Australian artist Sir Sidney Nolan opens to visitors from 31 March with two new exhibitions and new sculpture. The Peace Of Wild Things is a major solo exhibition by painter Daniel MacCarthy, the culmination of a year spent immersed in the natural surroundings of The Rodd as Resident Artist. The work which seeks to depict as well as enact a kind of communion with the natural world becomes in the act of making a place of refuge. But it is a natural world not idealised or made nostalgic in the manner of traditional landscape painting, but rather one in which uncomfortable realities seep in; a search for belonging, a sense of loss.

In the library of Rodd Court, we present Sidney Nolan’s experiments with polaroid photography. Nolan, whose photographic archive extends to over 30,000 images of his life and work, adopted polaroid photography with the same zeal as he did with so many new materials and technologies. The exhibition reveals complex imagery through multiple exposures and still life studies.

We are also delighted to present new sculpture by artist Jim Carter. Carter, who is based near Ross-on-Wye, has created large animal works using organic materials collected during visits to The Rodd and walks in the near-by landscape. The installation titled Of Black Shires connects to a sense of deep time – the animals appear as ancestors, remains and traces from the black soil of deep, layered memory, material and identity and existing on the frontier of life and death.

Later in the year, the Trust has announced exhibitions by the artist Fiona McIntyre and a major show of aboriginal artworks from some of Australia’s best known indigenous painters. For the second year, the Trust is organising a free community weekend of arts, music and storytelling which will take place on the 2&3 July.

Antony Mottershead the Trust’s Creative Producer said: ‘Through our 2022 programme we are pleased to continue our support for artists working locally and regionally but very much with an international quality and context. We also continue to reveal Nolan’s wide-ranging and experimental arts practice through presentation of his photography and Celtic imagery.’

Visitors can enjoy a selection of Nolan’s works from the Trust’s collection within his former home, the 17th-century manor house Rodd Court and are able to explore the gardens and historic farm buildings. A pop-up café will serve tea, coffee and cake.

The Rodd will reopen on Friday 31 March and thereafter 11.00 – 16.00 Thursday – Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays.


Press Release 31/01/22

Sidney Nolan Trust to host internationally acclaimed artist Heather Morison for free arts programme.

Sidney Nolan Trust have today announced the next date for their CULTIVATE arts programme,
where they’ll welcome internationally acclaimed and Herefordshire-based artist Heather Morison of Studio Morison on Saturday 12th February at the Sidney Nolan Trust, Presteigne.

A free programme for young people aged 15 to 25, CULTIVATE is a new way for people interested
in art to meet other young creatives, generate new work and be led by highly acclaimed,
professional artists.

Morison, who now lives in Weobley, Herefordshire with her partner and co-creator Ivan Morison,
creates 'situationist' installations including their ‘happening’ in Bristol ‘I lost her near Fantasy Island. Life will not be the same…’ which depicted a jack-knifed lorry shed its load of 25,000 flowers
across Bristol City Centre. The Morison’s were also part of the SK8 Skatepark, Weobley's new
skate park, which attracts skaters from far and wide who are enjoying the chance to experience the free design of the ‘street plaza’.

On February 12th, Heather will present her practice and work with the Cultivate group on its recent
creative theme 'Illuminate’, exploring bespoke 'architectural' structures as place-makers, ‘holding
spaces’ for people and how to draw humans into a space for congregation.

Dr Emma Posey, Artist Lead, Cultivate said,
“Cultivate offers young people in this predominantly rural region the opportunity to explore
contemporary culture by meeting and working with professional artists, curators and creative
producers. The group explores making and sharing art, utilising the natural surroundings and
facilities at Sidney Nolan Trust’s wonderful ‘home’.

Posey added,
“This opportunity is for any young person with creative curiosity, no previous experience or want to
become a professional artist is necessary. The cultural sector is made up of a wide range of
creatives with a myriad of skills. Cultivate is highly social and provides a unique forum for young
people to meet other like-minded people their own age. ”

Learn more about CULTIVATE


Press Release 20/11/21

An exhibition of experimental making by the Sidney Nolan Trust youth arts programme

Young artists from Mid Wales and Herefordshire present an exhibition of new artworks within Sidney Nolan’s former home.

Young people aged 15 to 25 who attend regular creative sessions at the Sidney Nolan Trust near Presteigne will present new artworks in the famous Australian artist’s former home, 17th century Rodd Court.

The Cultivate Programme (www.sidneynolantrust.org/learning/cultivate) has been running since June 2021. It provides young people with an interest in the arts, a social space and opportunity to work with professional artists and makers to explore, discuss and question ideas. To date the young people have worked with Lal Davies - a community film-maker from North Wales, Stefhan Caddick - a visual and participatory artist from Crickhowell and Jony Easterby - an artist/producer from Machynlleth.

Cultivate Youth Arts Group

Through the exhibition, the young people present experimental artworks created over the past six months including image, sound, film, drawing and installations with microcontrollers and electronics. Two overarching themes have been used to structure the programme, the first was Input/Output and the second and current theme is Illuminate. The programme places a strong emphasis on making and this exhibition provides an opportunity for the young people to showcase the artwork made up to this point.

Saturday 11 December 5.30 – 7.00pm (MUSIC STARTS AT 6.15PM)
Sidney Nolan Trust, The Rodd, Presteigne, LD8 2LL
Free & Refreshments Available

Emma Posey, the project’s lead artist and facilitator said;
“One of the opportunity barriers for young people living in rural Herefordshire and Mid Wales is a lack of easy access to making and experiencing art. At Cultivate, we’re building a vibrant community of young people who can experiment, share and learn about art together.”

The sessions are made possible through funding from Community Foundation Wales.


Press Release 02/10/21

State of Alarm – Mark Anderson & Jony Easterby

Following a two-week residency at The Sidney Nolan Trust, Presteigne, artists Mark Anderson and Jony Easterby will present State of Alarm, new outdoor artworks of sound, sculpture, video, light and fire in the gardens of The Rodd during the evenings of the 15 & 16 October 2021.

The artists will create work which responds to the ‘state of alarm’ ecologically, socially, and politically in the world today. Through the work they aim to tease out threads from this 'state', to pose questions, evoke emotions and to explore the contrast between beauty, hope and despair.

The residency will lead to the creation of new work and pick up on past streams of thought and investigation. The Rodd will become a place to experiment, collaborate and play, away from the artists’ studio environment, and a space for the presentation of this new work.

State of Alarm

The performance of State of Alarm will take place in the gardens of Rodd Court, the Garde II* listed 17th-century Jacobean manor house, formerly the home of Australian modernist artist, Sir Sidney Nolan and his wife Lady Mary Nolan.

Mark Anderson is a visual sound artist, working almost exclusively outside. Drawing inspiration from the meeting point between the natural, industrial, and technological world, his work uses light sound and fire, to explore ideas and materials to create work with an almost childlike playfulness. https://mark-anderson.uk

Jony Easterby’s artworks are informed by an empathy for the natural world and its sense of place within culture and social context. His wide range of artistic skills have found him developing projects as varied as the construction of intricate sound sculptures, audio visual installations and architectural constructions. https://www.jonyeasterby.co.uk

Mark and Jony both live and work in West Wales and will be joined by long-term collaborating artists Mathew Olden, Pippa Taylor, and Liam Walsh. These masters of reinvention have previously worked on spectacular world-touring outdoor arts productions, including Furious Folly, For the Birds, Powerplant and Tree and Wood.

The performance will run from 6.30pm on the evenings of Friday 15 & Saturday 16 October 2021. Entry is Free and refreshments will be available to purchase. Please wear clothing and footwear suitable for an outdoor performance.

Antony Mottershead, Creative Producer at The Sidney Nolan Trust said
“Mark and Jony’s residency and collaboration exemplifies Nolan’s vision for The Rodd, as a place where artists can come together to explore questions and ideas that are pertinent to the world today. The artists’ diverse practice is also a reminder of Nolan’s own interests in a wide variety of artistic outputs, material and technologies”


Press Release 01/08/21

Sidney Nolan: Colour of the Sky - Auschwitz Paintings

On 13 August 2021, the Sidney Nolan Trust will open its latest exhibition Sidney Nolan: Colour of the Sky - Auschwitz Paintings in the Trust’s freshly updated gallery space.

During 1961/62 Sidney Nolan was focused on the holocaust, creating a significant number of paintings that are now held in collections including Tate & the Australian War Memorial. The exhibition will present over 30 works from the Trust’s own collection, previously unseen photographs that Nolan took when visiting Auschwitz with the writer and poet Al Alvarez and other sources of reading on the holocaust drawn from Nolan’s personal archive.

Nolan wrote:

“Whether I will do paintings? I am reluctant in a way to dig deeper into Europe but I do not see how the question of the camps can be forever shelved. Perhaps they will never be the material of art, it is impossible to tell. How can a disease be painted?”

Nolan had painted with reference to the camps as early as 1944 but this later body of work appears to have been prompted by the public trial of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi responsible for the deportation of Jews from across Europe. Following Eichmann’s sentencing, Nolan switched from portraits of him to dozens of paintings of camp prisoners, to increasingly skeletal figures, as well as smoking crucifix.

In typical Nolan fashion he painted with great intensity, his style allowing him to quickly generate hundreds of works on paper, often tens of dozens created in a single sitting, each a subtle yet entirely purposeful variation on the last.

Most interestingly perhaps, all these works were made before Nolan even visited Auschwitz. Evidence suggests that the experience had a profound impact on him. He did not return to the subject for several years but later collaborated with Benjamin Britten on his coral work titled Children’s Crusade.

13 August - 26 September, The Rodd, Presteigne

Find out more


Press Release 01/05/21

Sidney Nolan - Polaroids

Informality and Sidney Nolan Trust are excited to announce the first-ever exhibition of Sidney Nolan’s polaroid photography at Informality, Henley on Thames. Nolan’s polaroid’s which have never been in the eye of the public will show alongside a selection of paintings by the artist on loan from the Trust and private collections.

Sir Sidney Robert Nolan was one of Australia’s leading artists of the 20th century and is most known for his iconic paintings depicting Australian bushranger and outlaw, Ned Kelly and his armour.

During the 1970s and 80s the polaroid became Nolan’s favoured format. The polaroid was a new, instant way of recording time which provided Nolan a useful mechanism to objectively record and critique his painting whilst also becoming a playful medium through which he began to construct candid yet intricate compositions.

Nolan, a fabled storyteller, explored more than just the recording of an image, instead he used the medium as a way of artistic expression, creating scenarios and exploring multiple exposure techniques.

A fine example in the exhibition, shot in (year), is an image of Picasso’s Guernica superimposed with one of Nolan’s earlier images from the 1940s, a staged photograph of a rider mounting an animal carcass that Nolan encountered in the Australian desert during a drought. Enter right, a child’s toy figure crosses the image on a miniature easy rider motorcycle. Other examples hint to the gentle nature of the man, of quiet observation. The artist's hand, full-frame, holding a beautiful small bird, either stunned or dead.

Where Nolan turns the camera on himself, something which dominates his polaroid photographs from the mid-seventies when his second wife Cynthia committed suicide, the results are much more disturbing. These flash-fuelled self-portraits render Nolan as a ghostly, transparent figure. In some, his face appears searching, in others, the crazed expressions look more like the camera has been handed to a sinister fictional character.

The exhibition comes at an important time, as The Sidney Nolan Trust recently began the task of sorting, listing, and conserving some of the 25,000 plus photographs believed to exist in the Trust’s archive. The photographs consisting of prints, negatives, transparencies, slides, and film reel, trace the artist's extensive travelling career, from early photographs of Heide and the Reeds, through some of his most ambitious exhibitions, to private family moments. It is hoped that in the future his photographic archive will be made available to the public and to inform research.

Find out more


Press Release 23/04/21

Reopening 21 May

On 21 May 2021, the Sidney Nolan Trust will reopen The Rodd for the first time since the start of the pandemic and will do so with two new exhibitions and outdoor sculpture to delight visitors.

The freshly updated gallery space within our 17th-century barn hosts Nolan à l’Atelier 17. The exhibition brings together fresh research focusing on Sidney Nolan’s time in Paris working with the legendary English Printmaker Stanley William Hayter. In Paris, a cauldron of mid-century modernism, Nolan sought inspiration and created several plates which until now remained largely unknown.

These etching experiments are presented alongside several magnificent works by leading surrealists of the day including Hector Saunier, Agatha Sorrel, and Hayter himself. The exhibition further includes a wonderful example of a rare star wheel etching press, synonymous with the famous Paris studio, kindly on loan from the Royal Engravers.

At the same time, the library of Rodd Court, also beautifully refurbished during the closure period, introduces new paintings by Simon Dorrell. Jackdaws For Company is the result of Dorrell’s solitary ramblings at The Rodd during lockdown. Twenty ink and gouache paintings render the house and historic farm buildings in intricate detail, presenting a unique record of The Rodd resting dormant. Dorrell’s paintings and a new limited edition of one of Nolan’s etchings are for sale.

Visitors are encouraged to extend their visit by enjoying a selection of Nolan’s works from the Trust’s collection within his former home, the 17th-century manor house Rodd Court, and will encounter sculpture by Daniel Pryde-Jarman when exploring the gardens and historic farm buildings. For the first time, visitors will also be able to enjoy light refreshments.

Anna Brennand the Trust’s new Director said: ‘Everyone at the Trust is very much looking forward to welcoming visitors back to The Rodd and we are delighted to present two vibrant exhibitions within our historic properties and sculpture in the grounds’.

The Rodd will reopen on Friday 21 May and thereafter 11.00 – 16.00 Friday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays.