Heide Museum of Modern Art turned 40 at the tail end of 2021, and the museum had planned a major Sidney Nolan exhibition to coincide with the occasion. Alas, obvious events got in the way – but this blockbuster exhibition is still happening, albeit a little later than originally planned. Phew!
As well as being a key figure of 20th century Australian art, Sidney Nolan was also a central member of John and Sunday Reed’s Heide set of artists. Thus, Sidney Nolan: Search for Paradise represents a special connection between the artist and the originating story of the museum.
Comprising 81 Nolan works (including several well-known masterpieces), the exhibition presents new perspectives on his oeuvre. Focussing on the artist’s life-long fascination with the concept of paradise, the works travel through his life: from his nostalgia for a childhood growing up in St Kilda to his later grapplings with Australia’s mythic history through figures like Eliza Fraser, Burke and Wills, and, of course, Ned Kelly.
Accompanying this expansive show is a new artwork from Worimi artist Dean Cross. Sometimes I Miss The Applause is a contemporary response to Nolan’s work, and challenges the social and cultural narratives that dominate Australian art history. The commissioned piece inserts a First Nations perspective into the exact colonial storytelling that Nolan himself attempted to critique.
We can’t wait to immerse ourselves in this brilliant show! Find out more here.
Sidney Nolan: Search for Paradise
19 February – 13 June 2022
Tickets cost $20 (members are free)
Dean Cross: Sometimes I Miss the Applause
5 February – 29 May 2022
Heide Museum of Modern Art
7 Templestowe Road