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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.

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Stranded under a fire-red sky, 2020

Justin McManus

Living Memory Finalist

Robert and Karen Allen with Panther, their dog. The trio became stranded in Mallacoota after bushfires ravaged the town on New Year's Eve. Holidaymakers and locals were trapped when the only road access to the coastal town was closed. As a second fire front enveloped the town, turning daylight to an ominous fire-red sky, Robert and Karen were caught in the midst of a strange and frightening landscape. There is a sense of anxiety and fear in the image, but also resilience and stoicism.

Courtesy of the artist
© The artist

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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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