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Works by legendary Australian artist on public display for the first time at Oriel y Parc, St Davids

An exhibition which explores how two celebrated 20th century artists were deeply moved by their sense of place has opened at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids.

Sidney Nolan and Graham Sutherland: A Sense of Place, which will be on display until 28 January 2018, will be the first time the two legendary artists’ work will be exhibited together and offers the only chance to see works by Sir Sidney Nolan OM AC RA (1917-1992) in Wales during his centenary year.

The exhibition is the result of a partnership between the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and the Sidney Nolan Trust, which has been marking the centenary of the Australian artist’s birth throughout 2017 with a series of exhibitions, publications and events.

Sidney Nolan, The Old Oak has Fallen, 1977, Ripolin and oil on hardboard, 91.5 x 122 cm. Collection of the Sidney Nolan Trust; © Sidney Nolan Trust​.
Sidney Nolan, The Old Oak has Fallen, 1977, Ripolin and oil on hardboard, 91.5 x 122 cm. Collection of the Sidney Nolan Trust; © Sidney Nolan Trust​.

Isabella Boorman, Oriel y Parc Curator for Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, said: “This is a rare opportunity to see works which were kept by Nolan in his studio, never before exhibited to the public. Particular highlights include works such as Ern Malley (Self-Portrait) from 1973.

“The exhibition also includes works by Graham Sutherland OM (1903-1980) that have never been on display before, alongside highly original examples of works created when the artist first arrived in Wales. Works such as Pembrokeshire Landscape were created in 1935, just one year after his very first visit to Wales at the beginning of his career.

“It is a sense of place that ties this exhibition together, following the changing artistic styles of both artists, displaying a range of imagery from very early to late in their careers to highlight how they reacted to their surroundings.”

Graham Sutherland, Pembrokeshire Landscape, 1935, gouache on paper, 15.7 x 20 cm. Collection of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales; © Estate of Graham Sutherland​
Graham Sutherland, Pembrokeshire Landscape, 1935, gouache on paper, 15.7 x 20 cm. Collection of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales; © Estate of Graham Sutherland​.

The exhibition includes eleven works by each artist, including: paintings, works on paper and original studio artefacts.

Although born in Melbourne, Australia, Nolan was well travelled and eventually settled at his studio named The Rodd in Presteigne, Powys from 1983 until his death in 1992.

This exhibition will predominately focus on Nolan’s later works which he made at The Rodd during the 1980s, a section of his career which has remained unseen and rarely discussed. A selection of earlier works by the artist will also provide a basis in which to contrast his later change in artistic style.

Similarly, Sutherland was intensely inspired by the Welsh landscape and Pembrokeshire in particular had a profound impact on his art-making from the time of his first visit in 1934, and was the place he chose to return to for inspiration for the duration of his career.

Both artists directly engaged with forms of nature, the human figure and their surroundings, reflected through their series of heads and landscapes.

Pictured at the exhibition opening are (from left to right): Clare Woods (artist), Amanda Fitzwilliams (Sidney Nolan Trust), Amelda Langslow (Sidney Nolan’s daughter), Isabella Boorman (Curator, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales), Anthony Plant (Director, Sidney Nolan Trust), Gwyneth Hayward (Chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority), Elisabeth Elias (President, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales), Cllr Bethan Price (Mayor of St Davids), Richard Catt (Trustee, Sidney Nolan Trust), Elizabeth Langslow (Sidney Nolan’s granddaughter), Jenn Jones (Manager of Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre).​
Pictured at the exhibition opening are (from left to right): Clare Woods (artist), Amanda Fitzwilliams (Sidney Nolan Trust), Amelda Langslow (Sidney Nolan’s daughter), Isabella Boorman (Curator, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales), Anthony Plant (Director, Sidney Nolan Trust), Gwyneth Hayward (Chair of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority), Elisabeth Elias (President, Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales), Cllr Bethan Price (Mayor of St Davids), Richard Catt (Trustee, Sidney Nolan Trust), Elizabeth Langslow (Sidney Nolan’s granddaughter), Jenn Jones (Manager of Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre).​

All artworks included by Sutherland are from the collection of Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, and all works by Nolan are from the Sidney Nolan Trust, including some on loan from private collections.

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority Chair, Gwyneth Hayward added: “The Welsh landscape has had a profound influence on the work of musicians, bards and artists for generations and continues to do so, but it is a great privilege to be able to bring together the works of these renowned artists for the first time, particularly during the Sidney Nolan Centenary celebrations.

“The partnership is particularly apt as the Sidney Nolan Trust’s objectives work to encourage artistic creativity with an enduring concern and care for the natural environment, are so closely shared by Oriel y Parc and the National Park Authority.”

Sidney Nolan and Graham Sutherland: A Sense of Place will be on display at Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids from 30 September 2017 until 28 January 2018. Entry to the gallery is free.

For more information about Sidney Nolan and the Sidney Nolan Trust visit www.sidneynolantrust.org.

For more information about Oriel y Parc including opening times and associated events, visit www.orielyparc.co.uk.

Published 03 October 2017


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