Central Australia, c.1949 ripolin enamel and red ochre paint on composition board 71.0 x 91.5cm (27 15/16 x 36in).
PROVENANCE Sir Sidney Nolan Trust Estate of Sir Sidney Nolan, Sotheby's, Melbourne, September 2001, lot 17 Private collection, Melbourne
EXHIBITED Nolan's Nolans: A Reputation Reassessed: An exhibition of paintings from the estate of Sir Sidney Nolan, Agnew's, London, 11 June - 25 July 1997, cat. 38 Australian Modern, Arte Australiana Moderna e Contemporanea e Arte Aborigena, Fondazione Mudima, Milan, 23 April - 24 May 2002 Annual Collectors' Exhibition, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne, 1 November 14 December 2002; Holmes a Court Gallery, Perth, 20 September 20 October 2002
LITERATURE Nolan's Nolans: A Reputation Reassessed: An exhibition of paintings from the estate of Sir Sidney Nolan, Agnew's, London, 1997, cat. 38 (illus.) T.G. Rosenthal, Sidney Nolan, Thames and Hudson, London, 2002, p. 129 (illus.)
'Today went on a mail flight for four hundred miles over the Hartz Range & to the eastern extremity of the MacDonnell Ranges. It is a simple matter to trace in this old waterless and eroded surface of the earth the dreaming nature and philosophy of the aborigines. In the morning the light on the hills was like gauze as Cynthia so accurately described it. Transparent & at the same time impenetrable, a fitting paradox for those who would look long at it and attempt to look through it to the coloured rocks and hills themselves. One must accept it as such only a little of it can be painted. The same as other things, only here the categories of light are clearly defined. Just so much you can do & just so much you cannot. It would be a mistake to erect any theories. Time and space are obviously welded together under those conditions here. Both are old.'1 Artist's diary, 28 June 1949
1 Sidney Nolan, diary notes, quoted in Geoffrey Smith, Sidney Nolan: Desert and Drought, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2003, p. 16
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