Sir Sidney Nolan In the Cave 1957

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Artwork details

Artist
Sir Sidney Nolan 1917–1992
Title
In the Cave
Date 1957
Medium Polyvinyl acetate paint on hardboard
Dimensions Support: 1219 x 1524 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Lord McAlpine of West Green 1983
Reference
T03557
Not on display

Display caption

In 1957 Nolan began using a new medium: polyvinyl acetate. PVA is a synthetic medium which can be used thickly or thinned with water. It was an ideal vehicle for Nolan's painting process. This involves laying down pigment, and then scrubbing, scraping and sponging the paint surface, encouraging the formation of images which are then elaborated. One aspect of the Eliza Fraser story which particularly fascinated Nolan was the bizarre conjunction of a naked white woman and a convict dressed in striped prison uniform. In this painting Mrs Fraser appears as an aboriginal cave drawing while Bracefell emerges from a niche in the rock.

August 2004

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