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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.

Portrait of Elizabeth Jolley, 2003

Mary Moore

oil on composition board (frame: 152.0 cm x 131.3 cm)

Elizabeth Jolley AO (1923-2007), writer, was born in England, and moved to Western Australia in 1959. She received immediate recognition with the publication of her story collection, Five Acre Virgin, in 1976. Henceforth, her stylistically distinctive examination of women's experience – through novels, radio plays and autobiography – attracted much interest from feminist scholars while also winning her a broad readership. The trilogy My Father's Moon, Cabin Fever and The Georges' Wife (1989–1993) is generally considered the high point of her work. Awarded three honorary doctorates, she won the Age Book of the Year Award twice, and the Miles Franklin Award for The Well (1986).

Mary Moore began formal art training in Perth at the age of fifteen and went on study at the Royal College of Art, London. She won the Portia Geach Memorial Award in 2001. This work, like many of Moore's paintings, is a parallel portrait, with the icons around the frame providing alternative and complementary representations of the sitter. The episodes and symbols of Jolley's life include a hedge of rosemary, windswept wheat fields, a nurse's uniform, Easter lilies, and tame geese. Moore worked from a photograph to paint this portrait, the composition and contents of which were largely decided by Jolley

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds from the Basil Bressler Bequest 2003
© Mary Moore

Accession number: 2003.104

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Mary Moore (age 46 in 2003)

Elizabeth Jolley AO (age 80 in 2003)

Related information

The Companion

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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.

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Dr Sarah Engledow explores the portraits of writers held in the National Portrait Gallery's collection.

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Making Portraits

Five Years of National Portrait Gallery Commissions

Previous exhibition, 2004

The considered matching of artist to subject has produced an amazing collection of unique and original works in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery

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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.