25 JULY 2001 Media Statement
'Ned Kelly' paintings to be shown in Wellington in 2002
Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Helen Clark announced today that the remarkable Ned Kelly
series of paintings by Australian artist Sidney Nolan will be exhibited by Wellington's City Gallery next year as part
of the New Zealand Festival.
“The loan of the Ned Kelly series from the collection of the National Gallery of Australia will give New Zealanders a
rare opportunity to view these masterful and original works."
The exhibition will run from 23 February to 2 June 2002.
"Sir Sidney Nolan is one of Australia's most significant painters. His Ned Kelly series retells what has become one of
the defining episodes in Australian nationalism - the violent and climactic events leading up to Ned Kelly’s capture and
trial in 1880.
"These works are remarkable for the way they have mythologised not only the Australian landscape, but also its
inhabitants – Irish immigrant, British colonial and Aboriginal. Nolan’s paintings explore themes of violence, love,
folly, authority and personal responsibility.
"I congratulate all those who have worked hard to secure the exhibition of the Ned Kelly paintings, notably Roderick and
Gillian Deane, and City Gallery director Paula Savage.
“The Ned Kelly series represents one of the most significant Australian contributions to our international arts
festival yet. I urge New Zealanders to visit the City Gallery and enjoy Sidney Nolan's famous legacy,” Helen Clark said.
The Ned Kelly paintings were gifted to the then Australian National Gallery,
Canberra, in 1977, by Sunday Reed. Nolan painted them and gave them to her
when he was living with Reed and her husband at Heidelberg, Victoria. The
exhibition of the paintings in Wellington will be only the third time they
have been shown outside Australia, since they have been in the Australian national collection.