Relative Histories

My father, Arthur Nichol, was a practicing artist before, during and after the Second World War. His work has been collected by several major Australian public institutions, including the Australian War Memorial, but among long lists of press artists, he is not noted in surveys of Black & White Art in Australia, aside from being sited for the act of assuming the pseudonym, Kurt Nodt, for his casual cartoon work for the Bulletin during the 1960s. Cartoons aside, it is his work as an illustrator that is overdue for acknowledgement. These pages form a visual biography of sorts, with the aim of addressing that anomaly, by bringing all of his work together for a thorough assessment of its worth.

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Arthur J. Nichol 1962 Bullletin Cover
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R. Bedford 'Billy Pagan Mining Engineer'
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George Randolph Bedford, great grandfather on my mother's side, was a well-known figure in Australia between the 1880s and his death in 1941. He wore many hats during his varied career of writer, publisher, mining promotor, actor and politician. A controversial character throughout his lifetime, he remains so to this day. Volume one of his autobiography "Naught to Thirty-three" was discovered by academic, Geoffrey Blainey, in a bookshop in 1951, and later republished. He was lauded for his travel writing and short stories, but disclaimers would pre-empt today, the re-publication of some of Randolph's work. He is now written about as a revealing study in  "patriotic masculinity" of the Federation era in Australia.

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