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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.

Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy, 2004

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

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Paula Dawson (age 50 in 2004)

Graeme Murphy AO (age 54 in 2004)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.

Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy, 2004 Paula Dawson
Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy, 2004 Paula Dawson
Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy, 2004 Paula Dawson
Mirror Mirror: Graeme Murphy, 2004 Paula Dawson

Reflections on a Hologram

Magazine article by Sam Bowker, 2005

Sam Bowker examines Paula Dawson's Mirror, Mirror - a holographic portrait of Graeme Murphy.

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Portraits for Posterity

Previous exhibition, 2006

Drawn from some of the many donations made to the Gallery's collection, the exhibition Portraits for Posterity pays homage both to the remarkable (and varied) group of Australians who are portrayed in the portraits and the generosity of the many donors who have presented them to the Gallery.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.