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Sidney Nolan, Kelly 1946, enamel on cardboard, Collection, The Nolan Collection at Canberra Museum and Gallery is managed on behalf of the Australian Government

Imagining Ned

A Bendigo Art Gallery Foundation Exhibition

28 March – 28 June 2015

Ned Kelly remains a highly mythologised character in Australian history. Some say he was a murderous villain and outlaw, while others proclaim him a misunderstood folk hero – an Australian Robin Hood. The story of Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang has long captured the imaginations of Australian artists, writers and filmmakers, and this exhibition allows us to consider the motivations of artists and their connection to this truly Australian narrative.

Imagining Ned presents the history and legend surrounding the Kelly gang through original artefacts, such as Kelly’s famous armour, letters, weaponry, associated ephemera and other historic items, as well as a survey of artistic output exploring images of Ned.

The most iconic artistic engagement with the legend of Ned Kelly is undoubtedly the work of celebrated Australian artist Sidney Nolan. The exhibition will feature a selection of Nolan’s important works alongside those of other artists such as Arthur Boyd, Adam Cullen, Juan Davila and Norman Lindsay. Literary references are also be included in the exhibition, including significant work by Peter Carey, and an excerpt of the first Australian feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang, first screened in 1906.

Imagining Ned e-catalogue available for viewing below or can be downloaded as an Adobe PDF.
Imagining Ned catalogue


And for a full transcript of The Jerilderie Letter, an except of which is on display in this exhibition, please follow this link.

Read more about Festival of Ned

Festival of Ned
Adam Cullen, Edward’s bag of fruit, acrylic on linen. Private collection. Courtesy of the Estate of Adam Cullen and Michael Reid Art Gallery


Vipoo Srivilasa, Networking, 2013, cobalt pigment on porcelain, Photograph: Andrew Barcham, Courtesy of the artist and Edwina Corlette Gallery


Liam Benson, Ned Kelly Red Gum; hypercolour, 2014, C Type photograph, Edition of 5, 50x50cm, Image courtesy of the Artist and Artereal Gallery, Sydney