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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

2022 Annual Appeal

Supporting contemporary photography

‘Stories are eternal’

Mayatjara by Robert Fielding, a series of 24 photographs of Elders of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara community.

This year, the National Portrait Gallery invites you to contribute to the best of contemporary photographic portraiture. We are committed to the acquisition of works such as this compelling group of significant portraits by photographer Robert Fielding. The series captures Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Traditional Owners and custodians, respected and significant leaders, advocates and artists within the communities of the APY Lands.

Their representation in the national portrait collection contributes to the Gallery’s aim of establishing itself as a space for promoting understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and ongoing cultures and their centrality to our shared national culture and identity. Your tax-deductible donation to our fund for contemporary Australian photography will ensure the preservation of these works for future generations.

We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring these works into the collection, and we look forward to presenting the entire series of 24 beautifully realised photographic portraits.

Karen Quinlan AM, Director

Make a donation

Mayatjara series
Sammy Dodd, Linda Puna, Kathy Maringka, Taylor Cooper, from the ‘Mayatjara’ series 2021, Robert Fielding © Robert Fielding and Mimili Maku Arts
Mayatjara series
Matjangka Nyukana Norris, Ingrid Treacle, Mantuwa Tjungarra George, Imatjala Curley, from the ‘Mayatjara’ series 2021, Robert Fielding © Robert Fielding and Mimili Maku Arts
Mayatjara series
Rita Rolley, Tuppy Ngintja Goodwin, Margaret Ngilan Dodd, Litja Brown, from the ‘Mayatjara’ series 2021, Robert Fielding © Robert Fielding and Mimili Maku Arts
Mayatjara series
Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Puna Yanima, Alec Baker, Maringka Burton, from the ‘Mayatjara’ series 2021, Robert Fielding © Robert Fielding and Mimili Maku Arts
Mayatjara series
Betty Muffler, Tiger Yaltangki, Hughie Cullinan, Stanley Douglas, from the ‘Mayatjara’ series 2021, Robert Fielding © Robert Fielding and Mimili Maku Arts
Mayatjara series
Yaritji Tjingila Young, Illuwanti Ken, Nyurpaya Kaika Burton OAM, Mary Katatjuku Pan, from the ‘Mayatjara’ series 2021, Robert Fielding © Robert Fielding and Mimili Maku Arts

From the artist

‘Stories are eternal. They are held onto, or given away, for a moment only, but they are eternally present in song, dance, language, place, earth and spirit. Our Elders have given us our stories, and we will carry them brightly into the future. Through our art we can share them, celebrate them, live them daily.

When I photograph my Elders, there remains much secretiveness around them. Their eyes have seen much, their stories held in everything they do, everything they create. Their knowledge is part of us, our culture, our country, our future. Their presence is an unmoving reminder of the fact that we have been linked to this landscape since time immemorial. Each of these individuals has their own stories to tell. I have created this portrait series for you to meet some of the most important people of my community, famous artists, storytellers, grandfathers, grandmothers, the matriarchs and patriarchs of our culture.’

Robert Fielding

About the artist

Robert Fielding is a contemporary artist of Pakistani, Afghan, Western Arrente and Yankunytjatjara descent, who lives in Mimili Community in the remote Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands. Read more

The subjects

Elders of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara community – Sammy Dodd, Linda Puna, Kathy Maringka, Taylor Cooper, Matjangka Nyukana Norris, Ingrid Treacle, Mantuwa Tjungarra George, Imatjala Curley, Rita Rolley, Tuppy Ngintja Goodwin, Margaret Ngilan Dodd, Litja Brown, Betty Kuntiwa Pumani, Puna Yanima, Alec Baker, Maringka Burton, Betty Muffler, Tiger Yaltangki, Hughie Cullinan, Stanley Douglas, Yaritji Tjingila Young, Illuwanti Ken, Nyurpaya Kaika Burton OAM, and Mary Katatjuku Pan.

Make a donation

Mayatjara series 2021, Robert Fielding
Mayatjara series on display at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale at the Art Gallery of Ballarat, 2021.

Contact us

If you would like talk further about supporting the 2022 Annual Appeal, please contact:

Jenny Kich
Foundation Manager
T: 02 6102 7026

Tazmin Kip
Membership Coordinator
T: 02 6102 7022

See portraits previously acquired through the Annual Appeals.

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency