Gria Shead heads to Wales for The Sidney Nolan Trust international residency

2 July 2019

The Sidney Nolan Trust

Sir Sidney Nolan founded the charity in his name in 1985. He was inspired to create a space in this rural setting where art and music could flourish.   When Nolan died in 1992, he bequeathed to the Trust a remarkable collection of his paintings, The Rodd estate and his ambitions for the future. 

Today, the Trust is realising Nolan's vision by establishing The Rodd as an important rural centre for the arts that is as relevant to the communities of the Welsh Marches as it is to the international community of artists and scholars.  The Trust also takes its work beyond the boundaries of The Rodd and into classrooms, galleries and museums across the country and overseas. 

Through its learning programme, exhibitions, artist residencies, workshops, masterclasses and concerts, the Trust engages with people who have little previous experience of art, as well as with established artists wishing to push the boundaries of their work.   

In Nolan's spirit, the Trust's  programmes endeavour to be modern, experimental and a place where collaboration flourishes.  

The Sidney Nolan Trust offers a small number of residencies to regional, national and international artists. Residencies take place at The Rodd estate on the English/Welsh border, where Sir Sidney lived for the last decade of his life.  

A residency at the Trust is an opportunity for reflection, within the landscape of a traditional organic working farm of some 250 acres, including 50 acres of ancient woodland plus a range of medieval farm buildings and Sidney home, Rodd Court, a listed Jacobean manor house.  

The Trust hopes that residency participants will respond to this landscape and that work made during the residency or some future work will be informed by their experience.  Alternatively, the Trust is delighted to host artists who are inspired not by the landscape but by the life and work of Nolan himself.  The Trust owns a significant collection of paintings and works on paper by Nolan and an historic archive of material and artefacts. The Trust also owns a vast proportion of Nolan's library, over 5,000 books, which show the vast range of Nolan's interests.

We ask that all resident artists engage with the wider work of the Trust at some point during their stay, This may include speaking to school groups or presenting work to members of the public.  

The forthcoming residency with Gria Shead is an exciting opportunity, for the Trust as we will be welcoming an artist whose work on Kate Kelly weaves perfectly with Nolan's lifelong obsession with Kates brother, Ned Kelly. It is also an opportunity to continue in Nolan's spirt of collaboration and experimentation as it is hoped that specific pieces will be produced during the residency with the support of Trustee, Prof David Ferry,  President of the Royal Society of Engravers.  

The Trust hopes to announce another international residency opportunity at the end of 2019.

Andrew Craven

Photo of The Rodd gallery, courtesy Kiefer Whitlock 

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