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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.

Individually together: the secret to wedded bliss

‘Being an artist is a rather solitary life, and it is wonderful to have someone to exchange ideas with.’ They are the contemplative, instructive words of artist Hossein Valamanesh on life with his wife and creative collaborator of four decades, Angela.

Angela and Hossein Valamanesh have been partners in love and artistic collaboration for over 40 years. The couple met at the South Australian School of Art in the mid-1970s, Hossein having recently emigrated from Iran. ‘Our work is compatible’, Angela explains. ‘Hossein’s mediums are sculpture, painting. I tend to work with ceramics, but we’re both intensely interested in the natural environment, its vulnerability, its fragility ... Because we share a studio, the work is quite intertwined.  We do feed off each other quite a bit in terms of ideas and influences.’ This portrait of the couple stemmed from travels through the remote mountains of Iran, where they sat for a pinhole camera picture; the resulting reverse image was digitally manipulated when they returned to Australia.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

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