Sir Sidney Nolan was one of Australia's leading artists of the 20th century. His oeuvre is among the most diverse and prolific in all of modern art. He is best known for his series of paintings on legends from Australian history, most famously Ned Kelly, the bushranger and outlaw.

The Dust Etchings


‘Dust’ was a suite of 25 etchings based on a series of earlier prints and drawings of Ned Kelly and scenes from the Australian outback that Nolan produced in the late 40s and early 50s. The etchings were printed at the White Ink Studio, London, in an edition of 60. All the etchings are from the private collection of Cliff White, Director and master printer at White Ink.

‘These were done on rather thick copper plates and were etched quite deeply; There is quite a trench...I forget just how deep it was, but more than a thirty-second of an inch. It’s quite deep, so that when the ink is rolled on - or in - it comes out very embossed. You can run your fingers over it and feel a distinct bump. It looks the opposite of the scrape-method I use to get transparency; the shimmering light in the centre of Australia, by scraping back the crayons and washing with quick-drying dyes...but you still get something of the same interpenetration of light.’
- Sidney Nolan, 21st of April 1978.

Sidney Nolan presented a complete set of the ‘Dust’ etchings to the Queensland Art Gallery in 1978. Lady Nolan also presented a complete set to the National Gallery of Victoria.