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Waiting for Zipporah (Christine Anu)
, 2002

by Elizabeth Barden

synthetic polymer paint on canvas (support: 42.0 x 49.0 cm)

Christine Anu (b. 1970), singer and actor, trained in dance at the National Aboriginal and Islander Development Association before joining the Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre. Her first recorded single was 'Last Train' with Paul Kelly in 1993; and her first album, Stylin' Up, was released in 1995. Including the hits 'Party' and 'My Island Home', it went platinum in Australia and Anu won the ARIA award for best Female Artist in 1996. The albums Come my Way (2000), 45 Degrees (2003) and Acoustically (2005) followed. In the late 1990s she performed in theatre musicals including Little Shop of Horrors and Rent. She has appeared in films including Moulin Rouge (2001) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003); and a stage show based on her life, Intimate and Deadly, toured Australian cities in 2005. In 2015 she released ReStylin Up 20 Years, a re-visioning of her debut album. She currently hosts an evening program on ABC radio.

Cairns-based artist Elizabeth Barden painted this portrait, one of several she has made of Anu, while the singer awaited the birth of her second child, her daughter Zipporah.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2004
Accession number: 2004.8