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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.

Preparatory study for 'Nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground'. M.O. Ranger 3

2001
eX de Medici

watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper (107.4 cm x 115.0 cm)

This work depicts the ceremonial practice of corroboree by the Awabakal Aboriginal peoples of Mulubinba (Newcastle) around 1818. Awabakal senior man Burigon, also known as Long Jack or King Jack (d. 1820), is the tall, smiling figure standing second from left. James Wallis, commandant of the Newcastle penal settlement, later said he remembered Burigon ‘with more kindly feelings than I do many of my own colour, kindred and nation’, and it has since been suggested that Wallis’s good relationship with Burigon facilitated the creation of the remarkable visual records of Mulubinba and the Awabakal dating from his tenure. It is thought, for instance, that Burigon accompanied convict and artist Joseph Lycett on his sketching expeditions, giving Lycett access to scenes that would ordinarily have been closed to non-Aboriginal people. Burigon was stabbed in the course of tracking two escaped convicts, John Kirkby and John Thompson, on 27 October 1820 and suffered in pain until his death some 10 days later. Kirby was convicted of his murder and was hanged on 18 December: the first white man ever convicted and executed for murdering an Aboriginal person under British law. Thompson, however, was acquitted.

Commissioned with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2001
© eX de Medici

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

eX de Medici (age 42 in 2001)

Midnight Oil

Peter Garrett AM (age 48 in 2001)

Rob Hirst (age 46 in 2001)

Jim Moginie

Martin Rotsey

Dwayne Hillman (age 43 in 2001)

Supported by

Basil P. Bressler (48 portraits supported)

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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.

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