I recently purchased this print of a Sidney Nolan painting from the second Burke & Wills series created in 1961-62.
“I doubt that I will ever forget my emotions when first flying over Central Australia and realizing how much we painters and poets owe to our predecessors the explorers, with their frail bodies and superb will-power.” – Sidney Nolan 1967
The ill-fated expedition of the Irish explorers Burke and Wills, who set out from Melbourne for the Gulf of Carpentaria in 1860, first interested Sidney Nolan during the late 1940’s. What continued to fascinate Nolan about Burke and Wills was their resilience in the face of adversity; their experience highlighted a fragile grip on reality. Nolan’s personal experiences of the land were closely linked to the development of mythology in his work.
Pictured is Sidney Nolan (1917-1992), Burke in the River: from Burke & Wills series, c.1961, Lithograph A/P.