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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Summer 1986

Janet Dawson

oil on canvas (support: 122.0 cm x 210.0 cm)

Michael Boddy (1934–2014), writer and farmer, was a graduate of Cambridge University. In 1960, he arrived in Australia as a 'ten pound Pom', and worked in theatre, television, radio and film as a writer, actor and director. A bio-dynamic farmer since 1974, he now writes about farming, horticulture, natural history, food, consumer affairs and scientific matters. About Summer 1986 Michael Boddy said: "It was painted alla prima in one three-hour session on a very hot day. I was asleep on a sheet on the studio couch. Janet, my wife, came in to get a large stretched canvas to do a landscape. I said it was big enough to get all of me into it. She told me to stay put, set up at once, and got me all into it, plus the dog. A human landscape. My only stipulation was that I should be awake, conscious of the viewer, and not at all welcoming. I much prefer it to the Archibald Prize-winner she did of me in 1973."

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2000, part gift of Michael Boddy
© Janet Dawson/Copyright Agency, 2021

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Janet Dawson (age 51 in 1986)

Michael Boddy (age 52 in 1986)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Michael Boddy (1 portrait)

Supported by

Michael Boddy (1 portrait supported)

Other information

Janet Dawson’s painting of Michael Boddy gives paws for thought
The Australian, 26 November 2016
Bronwyn Watson writes about Summer 1986 for the Popular Pet Show.

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961

Figurative foundation

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and art of the Australian artist Janet Dawson.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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.

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