Presented in dialogue with Sidney Nolan: Search for Paradise is a newly commissioned installation by Dean Cross. Cross is an artist of Worimi descent, born and raised on Ngunnawal/Ngambri Country with a background in contemporary dance and choreography and studies in visual arts at ANU School of Art and Design. Cross’ cross-disciplinary practice often confronts the legacies of modernism, rebalancing dominant cultural and social histories.
For this Heide Museum commission, Cross developed a dual channel moving image work that draws upon some of Nolan’s most recognisable imagery, including his stylised Ned Kelly helmet. Cross is dancing in the local hall of Gundaroo, NSW to the famous score of Igor Stravinsky’s ‘The Rite of Spring’ with the jarring choreography of Vaslav Nijinsky. In 1961, Sidney Nolan was commissioned by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden to design new sets and costumes for Kenneth MacMillian’s radical version of the modernist ballet. Nolan’s design referenced the imagery of central Australia and Aboriginal people. Wearing Nolan’s likenesses as a mask, Cross creates a complex narrative in which autobiographical moments from both his and Nolan’s life become inextricably intertwined, suggesting a series of convergences, cultural collisions and slippages in time.
Curated by Melissa Keys.
Still from Sometimes I Miss the Applause, 2022 HD Video with sound, 8.38 mins. Courtesy the artist and Yavuz Gallery Singapore and Sydney © Dean Cross Commissioned by Heide Museum of Modern Art, 2022. Purchased for the Heide collection with funds from Dr Victor Wall and Patricia Wall, the Metamorphic Foundation, 2022
View a copy of the Dean Cross: Sometimes I Miss the Applause digital catalogue here
Nolan is one of Australia’s most iconic twentieth century artists whose life and loves among the Heide circle of artists in the 1940s were at first his idea of Eden but then became his own personal hell
Nolan immersed himself in the myths of the Greeks, reading the Iliad and visiting Gallipoli, so close to Troy. He…
Drop into CMAG during your lunch hour for a highlights tour of the exhibition Sidney Nolan: Search for Paradise with our Senior Curator of Visual Arts, Virginia Rigney
Join Andrew Turley for this talk about Sidney Nolan’s four African works and his 1962 travels across Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and Zanzibar