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June 2011: Sidney Nolan's 'Dust' Etchings 1971


To coincide with the British Museum's 'Australia Season' and their exhibition 'Out of Australia: Prints and Drawings from Sidney Nolan to Rover Thomas' - June's monthly exhibition comprises 20 etchings from Sidney Nolan's 'Dust' suite.

Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) is one of Australia's best known painters and printmakers. ‘Dust’ was a suite of 25 etchings based on a series of earlier prints and drawings of Ned Kelly and scenes from the Australian outback that Nolan produced in the late 40s and early 50s. These etchings were printed at the White Ink Studio in London and published in 1971. The prints in this exhibition are all proofs, aside from the edition of 60, and come from the personal collection of Cliff White, master printer at White Ink. Nolan's 'Dust' suite was the first series of works to be produced at White Ink and Cliff's first job as printer there.

The British Museum acquired one of these 'Dust' etchings from us for their permanent collection in 2010 (Registration number: 2010,7048.1).

‘These were done on rather thick copper plates and were etched quite deeply; There is quite a trench...I forget just how deep it was, but more than a thirty-second of an inch. It’s quite deep, so that when the ink is rolled on - or in - it comes out very embossed. You can run your fingers over it and feel a distinct bump. It looks the opposite of the scrape-method I use to get transparency; the shimmering light in the centre of Australia, by scraping back the crayons and washing with quick-drying dyes...but you still get something of the same interpenetration of light.’
- Sidney Nolan on the 'Dust' etchings, 21st of April 1978.

Sidney Nolan presented a complete set of the ‘Dust’ etchings to the Queensland Art Gallery in 1978. Lady Nolan also presented a complete set to the National Gallery of Victoria.


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Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Kelly', Etching, 1971.
NOLAN, SIDNEY (1917-1992), 'DUST SERIES', ETCHING, 1971
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Carcase in Tree', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Camel Cart', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Carcase', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
Nolan, Sidney (1917-1992), 'Dust Series', Etching, 1971.
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