Sidney Nolan grew up in the Melbourne beachside suburb of St Kilda, celebrated for its fun fair, Luna Park. In 'Giggle Palace', he depicts himself as a young boy, posing with his parents in front of a painted beach backdrop in a sideshow photographer’s studio at the fair. The fresh, bright colours and simplified forms reflect Nolan’s interest in unsophisticated artforms, including the work of children and naïve painters. He delights in confusing the viewer with the visual trick of ‘a painting within a painting’, and his playful experimentation with various patterns and impossible perspective reveals an erudite wit and vision.

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  • Title: Giggle Palace
  • Creator: Sidney Nolan
  • Date Created: 1945
  • Location: St Kilda/Melbourne/Victoria/Australia
  • Physical Dimensions: 61.5 x 91.2 cm board; 71.5 x 102.3 x 3.8 cm frame
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: On loan from the Nelson Meers Foundation
  • External Link: https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/L2008.9
  • Medium: Ripolin enamel on hardboard
  • Signature & Date: Signed and dated l.r. corner, pencil "..../ Feb 1st 45/ N". Signed and dated c. verso on board, white oil "Feb 1st/ 1945/ NOLAN". Dated bot. c. verso on frame, pencil "Feb 1st 1945".
  • Object Other Titles: Giggle Palace at Luna Park
  • Artist Country: Australia, England