© the Artist’s Estate. All Rights Reserved 2017/ Bridgeman Images
Sidney Nolan was born in Australia where he studied art and became an illustrator and painter. In the 1950s he moved to England where his reputation rapidly grew as he participated in many exhibitions world-wide. He was knighted in 1981, awarded the Order of merit in 1983 and elected RA in 1991. His work often took the form of records of his travels and personal experiences while the history and culture of Australia provided inspiration for many works. Bearded Minder is a reference to the backbone of Australian industry and prosperity. The miner's monumental head rises above the ground as a glowing fireball. The symbolic image articulates an ambivalent vision of human potential - a desire for progress wrestling with the power of nature, allowing both hope and fear.