Melbourne, Victoria, Australia born 1955


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia born 1952

printer, intaglio


commenced 1976 – 1987

print workshop (organisation)

"That great Australian dream". 1987
Collection Title: For every thinking person
Place made: Bill Young Studio, Middle Park, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper etching and aquatint, printed in black ink with plate-tone, from one plate Support: wove Velin Cuve Arches BFK Rives paper
Edition State: published state
Impression: 6/20
Edition: edition of 20; plus 2 artist's proofs, 1 printer's proof

Primary Insc: Signed and dated lower right below plate-mark in black pencil, 'Nicholas U+/ Nedelkopoulus 1987' Inscribed lower centre below plate-mark in black pencil, ' 'That Great Australian Dream' ' Inscribed lower left below plate-mark in black pencil, '6/20'
Dimensions: plate-mark 100.4 h x 50.3 w cm sheet 122.5 h x 80.8 w cm
Acknowledgement: Gordon Darling Australasian Print Fund 1990. Dedicated by the artist to his parents, Dosta and the late Christos Nedelkopoulos
Accession No: NGA 90.20
Image rights: © Nicholas Nedelkopoulos
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Deutscher Gertrude Street, Melbourne, February 1990.

After the Second World War, Australia was promoted as a dream location for migrants. Yet Nicholas Nedelkopoulos, the son of Greek migrants, discerns another life behind the suburban dream – a world of claustrophobic anxiety and everyday anarchy.

The billboard reads as a warning in multiple languages. The scene is one of a grand multicultural barbecue, set against Melbourne’s bridges and buildings which shimmer on the horizon. People dressed in national costume are gathered in a backyard, complete with Hills Hoist clothesline. The mood, however, is one of isolation, dislocation and containment. The figures are bound by suburbia, by their vegetable patches, garden sheds, fences and houses. Domesticity appears in the form of a pyramid, a backyard tomb, studded with worldly possessions: whitegoods, toilet, television. Nicholas Nedelkopoulos is challenging Australians to observe their habitat from without and within, through the fences and backyards that contain us and our neighbours.

Roger Butler and Beatrice Gralton

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Anne Gray (ed), Australian art in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2002