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Glenn McGrath, 2003

Sally Robinson

synthetic polymer paint on canvas (support: 173.0 cm x 122.0 cm)

Glenn McGrath (b. 1970), cricketer, holds the world record for the most wickets for a fast bowler. Born in Narromine, NSW, he made his first class debut for NSW in 1992 and played his first Test in 1993-4. He has enjoyed particular success against England, taking 8 for 38 in the 1997 Lords Test, 32 wickets in the 2001 Ashes series and 19 in 2002-3, but his greatest bowling spell was 8 for 24 against Pakistan in 2004. That year he played his 100th test at Nagpur, India, and scored his first 50 at the crease in Brisbane. In 2005 he became one of only five players - including his team mate Shane Warne - to have taken more than 500 Test wickets. The Alan Border Medallist in 2000, McGrath was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1998, 1999 and 2005-6.

Sally Robinson, born in England, studied at the National Art School in Sydney from 1970 to 1973, and in the following year took up a position as designer at the Australian Museum in Sydney. Robinson was one of the leading Australian printmakers of the 1970s and 1980s. Her screenprints, featuring areas of bold, bright colour, were purchased by public collections throughout Australia and she received many commissions for print series. Her subjects were breezily Australian - the beach, the outback, cockatoos and parrots. In 1999 Robinson made her first appearance in the Archibald Prize as a portrait painter. In 2012 she won the Portia Geach Memorial Award with a portrait of her mother; she won the Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize in 2016 with a painting of Ella Rubeli.

Sally Robinson writes: 'This portrait of popular sportsman Glenn McGrath . . . was painted from life, with two sittings with Glenn plus use of a Press Pass, granted by the Australian Cricket Board, for access to watch Glenn play/take photos at the Sydney Cricket Ground. It features Glenn contemplating his next ball to a nervous English batsman, with Shane Warne in the distance, fielding in the slips.'

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2003

Accession number: 2003.215

Currently on display: Gallery Six (Tim Fairfax Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Sally Robinson (age 51 in 2003)

Glenn McGrath (age 33 in 2003)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Donated by

Sally Robinson (2 portraits)

Related portraits

1. Angry Anderson, 2006. All Sally Robinson.
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