The subject of this drawing is Sydney’s Central Station. Harding began with photographs and rough ‘thumbnail’ sketches in order to develop the composition before embarking on the final drawing, in various tones of ink, in his studio.
He describes his method of making the drawing thus:
'Two sheets of … paper are glued together using (an) adhesive. The machinepressed surface of the paper is too hard and resistant to absorption so I ‘skin’ it to reveal the soft stratum of paper beneath. Drawing commences using a square-tipped palette knife, emery cloth and a broken palette knife that operates both as a large square nib and as a correction tool. As the drawing progresses correction occurs by rubbing back through the drawing to reveal the white paper surface, ready to receive fresh mark-making and tone. Everything moves around until both a compositional tension and a synthesis of materials and content occurs.' (Nicholas Harding, 2001).
This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2001 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2001.
brush and black ink, torn and abraded paper on two sheets of laminated white wove paper
132.4 x 149.0 cm sheet; 146.0 x 160.5 x 6.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r., pencil "harding". Not dated.
Gift of the Trustees of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 2001
Not on display
© Nicholas Harding
Dobell Prize for Drawing (discontinued)
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Dobell Prize for Drawing 2001, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Mar 2001–13 May 2001
Dobell Prize for Drawing: the first ten years, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Sep 2004–30 Nov 2004
Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 Years of the Dobell Drawing Prize:
- Grafton Regional Gallery 15 Feb 2013–24 Mar 2013
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 30 Mar 2013–05 May 2013
- Orange Regional Gallery, Australia 05 Jul 2013–18 Aug 2013
- National Art School, Darlinghurst 29 Aug 2013–06 Oct 2013
- Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, Murwillumbah 18 Oct 2013–24 Nov 2013
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 11 Apr 2014–18 May 2014
Referenced in 10 publications
Sasha Grishin, The Canberra Times, ‘Content ignored in hullabaloo’, pg. 11, Canberra, 31 Mar 2001, 11.
Michael Hutak, The Bulletin, ‘Head and shoulder above’, pg. 84-85, Sydney, 27 Mar 2001, 84.
Hendrik Kolenberg, The Dobell Prize for Drawing: 1993-2004, ‘Introduction: the first ten years’, pg. 8-9, Sydney, 2004, 9, 13 (illus., detail), 32, 33 (illus.), 50, 53.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Drawing the spotlight', pg. 18-19, Sydney, Jun 2002, 18.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, ‘Drawing a winner: a decade of Dobell prizes shows us how and why’, pg. 24, Sydney, Aug 2003, 24.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 7, 36, 37 (illus.), 61.
Joyce Morgan, The Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Art of Bell and soul of Lear lead painter to glittering rewards’, pg. 5, Sydney, 17 Mar 2001, 5.
Jennifer Sexton, The Weekend Australian, ‘Archibald bell tolls at last for artist … by a nose’, pg. 5, Canberra, 17 Mar 2001, 5.
S.H. Ervin Gallery, Nicholas Harding: drawn to paint, Camperdown, 2009, 72 (illus.).
Brownyn Watson, Look, 'Prize drawings: building a collection by competition', pg. 24-26, Melbourne, Oct 2001, 25 (illus.).