We are proposing to name a laneway recognising Australian artist Sir Sidney Robert Nolan OM, AC (22 April 1917 – 28 November 1992) who grew up in a cottage on the corner of Pakington Street and this unnamed lane, and went on to become one of Australia's leading artists of the 20th century.
When naming or renaming laneways within our municipality, the proposed name must comply with the naming rules for places in Victoria, as per the Geographical Place Names Act 1998.
Appropriate naming is essential to identify locations for managing emergencies and delivering goods and services.
Proposal 1: Moonboy Lane
Nolan’s distinctive artistic imagery and vision are deeply rooted in his boyhood in St Kilda. A famous painting completed while he was living in St Kilda is Boy and the Moon – commonly known as Moonboy – a simple, luminous head-shaped moon, painted against an inky blue-green sky. The title of the painting refers to what Sidney Nolan says was the initial impulse for the work: the sight of a friend’s head silhouetted against a full moon-rise over St Kilda. By conflating these two images Nolan has created a simple and memorable painting that negotiates the territory between representation and abstraction. When Boy and the moon was first exhibited in 1940, the extreme simplicity of its composition challenged conventional ideas about painting and polarised the debate about modernism (ref. National Gallery of Australia).
Summary of submitter’s request: It is easy to see how Nolan’s Ned Kelly iconography developed from this work – Kelly’s iconic black, square, eye-slotted head not far removed from the elemental geometry of the Moonboy. The Moonboy image relates directly to Nolan’s emergence as an artist in St Kilda. It is tempting to see in it an autobiographical link with his own remembered past as a boy in Pakington Street. Though at first obscure, the word Moonboy invites curiosity, and a sense of enchantment. Once its secret is known, the name connects Nolan uniquely, directly and evocatively to the place. A local curiosity to be ‘discovered’, and, from then on, not forgotten.
Proposal 2: Kelly Lane
Sidney Nolan’s 1946–47 paintings on the theme of the 19th-century bushranger Ned Kelly are one of the greatest series of Australian paintings of the 20th century. Nolan’s starkly simplified depiction of Kelly in his homemade armour has become an iconic Australian image. Nolan's Ned Kelly series follow the main sequence of the Kelly story. However, Nolan did not intend the series to be an authentic depiction of these events. Rather, these episodes/series became the setting for the artist's meditations upon universal themes of injustice, love and betrayal. The Kelly saga was also a way for Nolan to paint the Australian landscape in new ways, with the story giving meaning to the place (ref. National Gallery of Australia).
Summary of submitter’s request: Kelly Lane commemorates Sidney Nolan as a renowned artist and his connection to Pakington Street. There is a plaque on the lane's corner block of apartments acknowledging that Sidney Nolan lived at that address, and many books about his life acknowledge his connection to this area. The name Kelly is publicly inextricably linked with Sidney Nolan for his renowned Ned Kelly series of paintings.