Australia 2003 Australian Paintings

From Stamps of the World
Australia 2003 Australian Paintings $1 a.jpg
  • Issue Date: 6 May 2003
  • Designed by: Symone Lambert
  • Printed by: SNP Sprint
  • Print Process: Lithography
  • Perforations: 14.5 x 14.0
  • Stamp size: 50mm x 30mm
  • Format: sheets of 50


This issue is the first in a new series that will feature paintings by eminent Australian artists. The works will be selected from the history of painting since European settlement in Australia, and will draw on the country’s public art collections. This first issue in the series showcases paintings by four well-known twentieth century artists: Sidney Nolan, Joy Hester, Robert Jacks and Howard Arkley. The works range in date from 1946 to 1993.

The simple designs showcase the works of art. Typography, which is restricted to a white border, uses a modern sans-serif font. The denominations are coloured in a shade that complements the art work. The four stamps are designed as a set, and the featured art works share common characteristics of strong colour and line, as well as a tendency to flatness and two-dimensionality.


$1.00 Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly, 1946

Sir Sidney Nolan (1917-1992) is considered by many to be Australia’s greatest artist and his 27 Ned Kelly paintings of 1946 and 1947 are among the best known and loved of his oeuvre. The work featured on the stamp was painted in 1946 with enamels on composition board. It shows a defiant Kelly in his characteristic armour as the master of his domain, riding his horse into a wide, deserted landscape.

$1.00 Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly

$1.00 Howard Arkley, Family Home, Suburban Exterior, 1993

Howard Arkley (1951-1999) said he was inspired to paint after seeing a Sidney Nolan exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria. The work featured on the stamp, Family Home: Suburban Exterior of 1993 is quintessential Arkley; the façade of an ordinary Australian suburban home rendered in bright colours with a pronounced concern for flat pattern. The painting is acrylic on canvas and is in the collection of Monash University, Melbourne.

$1.00 Howard Arkley, Family Home, Suburban Exterior

$1.45 Robert Jacks, Cord Long Drawn, Expectant, 1985

Robert Jacks (b. 1943) is one of Australia’s foremost abstract artists. In 1982 Jacks began his ‘Wedge’ paintings. These canvases are abstracts of simple geometric shapes arranged diagonally, creating an illusion of depth and dynamic movement. Cord Long Drawn, Expectant was painted in Melbourne in 1985 during the artist’s ‘Wedge’ period. The diagonal shards of textured colour create an illusion of three-dimensionality and competing forces. The work is in the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney.

$1.45 Robert Jacks, Cord Long Drawn, Expectant

$2.45 Joy Hester, Girl, 1957

Joy Hester (1920-1960) was the only woman in the Angry Penguins group that also included Sidney Nolan and Hester’s first husband Albert Tucker. Girl, the work featured on the stamp, was painted in brush and ink in 1957. A simple black and white image, it shows a young girl, lying on her stomach, with her thoughtful face cradled in her arms. This sense of contemplative stillness is disrupted by the girl’s streaming hair, which seems to propel her through the night like a speeding comet. Girl is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

$2.45 Joy Hester, Girl

Se-tenant Pair

Se-tenant pair of $1

First Day Cover

The first day of issue postmark was Heidelberg VIC 3084.

First day cover - 4 values

Maximum Cards

$1.00 Sidney Nolan, Ned Kelly
maximum card
$1.00 Howard Arkley, Family Home, Suburban Exterior
maximum card
$1.45 Robert Jacks, Cord Long Drawn, Expectant
maximum card
$2.45 Joy Hester, Girl
maximum card

Presentation Pack

Presentation pack front cover
Presentation pack of 4 values