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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.

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, 2020

Accession number: 2000.13

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Janet Dawson (age 51 in 1986)

Michael Boddy (age 52 in 1986)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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), 2009 Ross Watson
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham), 2009 Ross Watson

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penny 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.

Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley
Dame Edna Everage, 1982 Lewis Morley

Bare

Degrees of undress

Previous exhibition, 2015

Bare: Degrees of undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. 

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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Canberra, ACT 2600, 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 both past and present.

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