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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.

Emily Kame Kngwarreye, 1995

Jenny Sages

charcoal on paper (sheet: 16.5 cm x 23.5 cm)

These sketches have been in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery for eight years, but they have never before been exhibited. Jenny Sages became accustomed to working this way while on assignments for Vogue magazine, annotating her impressions of fashion and exotic destinations. However, her sketches of Emily Kngwarreye are unique in the Gallery's collection, providing, as they do, not only a graphic record but a written record of an extraordinary encounter between two women at ground level.

It was out of a desire for these drawings to be seen and understood in context that the idea for the exhibition 'Jenny Sages: Paths to portraiture' evolved.

Caption: Sarah Engledow, National Portrait Gallery

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Dr. Morris Low 2000

Accession number: 2001.26

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jenny Sages (age 62 in 1995)

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (age 85 in 1995)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Dr Morris Low (2 portraits)

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.

Making Stories video: 3 minutes
Making Stories video: 3 minutes
Making Stories video: 3 minutes
Making Stories video: 3 minutes

Kate Grenville

'Making Stories'

Portrait story

Australian writer Kate Grenville discusses her career and portrait by Jenny Sages.

Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000
Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000
Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000
Each morning when I wake up I put on my mothers face, 2000

Paths to portraiture

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

The life and art of Australian artist Jenny Sages is on display in the exhibition Paths to Portraiture.

Irina Baronova (handing on the baton), 2007 Jenny Sages
Irina Baronova (handing on the baton), 2007 Jenny Sages
Irina Baronova (handing on the baton), 2007 Jenny Sages
Irina Baronova (handing on the baton), 2007 Jenny Sages

Handing on the baton

Magazine article by Michael Desmond, 2009

Michael Desmond explores the life of ballerina Irina Baranova through the portrait by Australian artist Jenny Sages.

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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.