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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.

Untitled (Study for 'Emily Kame Kngwarreye with Lily'), 1993

Jenny Sages

charcoal on paper (sheet: 30.4 cm x 22.8 cm)

Jenny Sages made these drawings as she sat with Emily Kngwarreye and her friend Lily under their 'talking tree'. Emily thought Jenny was as old as she was, and Sages recalls that they sat and talked 'as two 83-year-olds do'. The fifteen works in the series, recording the changing expressions on the Anmatyerre woman's face and her shifts between lively and impassive postures, work together like the storyboard of a film of Emily Kngwarreye.

Caption: Sarah Engledow, National Portrait Gallery

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2002.23.15

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jenny Sages (age 60 in 1993)

Emily Kame Kngwarreye (age 83 in 1993)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Jenny Sages (27 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.