Collection Online

Flour lumper, Dimboola
1943

Medium
enamel paint on cardboard
Measurements
75.5 × 63.5 cm
Place/s of Execution
Dimboola, Victoria
Inscription
inscribed in ink l.r. Flo(…illeg.) Worker / 1(…illeg.)
inscribed in blue ink on reverse l.r. Flour Lumper / 12-4-1943 / Dimboola / Wimmera
inscribed in crayon on reverse c. 1943 / Nolan
Accession Number
A22-1983
Department
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Sir Sidney and Lady Nolan, 1983
© Sidney Nolan Estate. All Rights Reserved 2011 / Bridgeman Art Library
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Gallery 7
Level 2, NGV Australia
About

This image of a man carrying a bag of flour on his back – a job Nolan would have done often in the army – has been intricately abstracted. The bag, with its tiger logo, looms giant in the foreground, while in the background are two tiny figures, perched on the man’s head. In many of these images the space is ambiguously arranged, sometimes giving a floating quality. His ability with colour is present in Flour Lumper: brilliant yellows, reds and blues leap out of the canvas. Nolan was very specific about the paint he preferred – he used Ripolin, a high-grade enamel paint, manufactured for use on houses or boats. He wrote to Sunday Reed, a key member of the Heide community which Nolan was a part of: ‘Their (Ripolin) three best colours strongest, brightest, are lemon yellow, cobalt blue and the red’. He attributed almost magical properties to the paint, writing again to Sunday: ‘Ripolin is like quicksilver. I can see us cooking it over a fire or leaving it out under the rosemary all night to see what secrets can be found in it’.