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Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy
, 2004

by Paula Dawson

holographic print etched on bronze disk on bronze figurine (including base: 33.0 cm x 14.7 cm depth 7.5 cm)

Graeme Murphy AM (b. 1950), choreographer and dancer, was the youngest male dancer to be accepted into the Australian Ballet school, and commenced with the Australian Ballet at the age of 18. Eight years later, in 1976, he was appointed artistic director of the Sydney Dance Company (then known as The Dance Company NSW). Since then he has created a repertoire of some thirty full evening productions and ten or more varied short works. His most popular piece is perhaps Poppy (1978), a full-length ballet based on the life of Jean Cocteau, in which he danced the title role four years after announcing his retirement. In 2001 he was presented with a Helpmann Award for his Body of Work, a selection of highlights from his repertoire; he won another for best choreography for Swan Lake in 2003. Murphy was named a National Living Treasure in 1999.

Paula Dawson, artist and university lecturer, is an internationally recognised pioneer in the field of holography. Dawson's first exhibition of holograms was in 1974. After completing a term as artist in residency at the Laboratoire de Physique Generale et Optique in France, experimenting there with different types of holographic material, procedures and potential outcomes, in 1980 she created There's no place like home, at that time the largest hologram ever made. Since then she has continued to create large and small format holograms such as To absent friends (1989), expressing the relationship between objects and images, and memory and time. Her most recent project is Shadowy Figures: A comparative study of darkness as an agency of visual representation in traditional and holographic images, aided by a Major Discovery Grant from the Australian Research Council (2001-2003). Dawson completed a PhD on the technical and aesthetic aspects of holography in 2001, and now lectures in holography, drawing, sculpture and virtual and spatial imaging at the University of New South Wales.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with the assistance of Ann Lewis AM and the Basil Bressler Bequest 2004
Accession number: 2004.185a-b