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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.

Waiting for Zipporah (Christine Anu), 2002

Elizabeth Barden

synthetic polymer paint on canvas (frame: 52.0 cm x 44.7 cm, support: 42.0 cm x 49.0 cm)

Christine Anu (b. 1970), singer and actor, trained in dance at the National Aboriginal and Islander Development Association before joining the Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre. Her first recorded single was 'Last Train' with Paul Kelly in 1993; and her first album, Stylin' Up, was released in 1995. Including the hits 'Party' and 'My Island Home', it went platinum in Australia and Anu won the ARIA award for best Female Artist in 1996. The albums Come my Way (2000), 45 Degrees (2003) and Acoustically (2005) followed. In the late 1990s she performed in theatre musicals including Little Shop of Horrors and Rent. She has appeared in films including Moulin Rouge (2001) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003); and a stage show based on her life, Intimate and Deadly, toured Australian cities in 2005. In 2015 she released ReStylin Up 20 Years, a re-visioning of her debut album. She currently hosts an evening program on ABC radio. Cairns-based artist Elizabeth Barden painted this portrait, one of several she has made of Anu, while the singer awaited the birth of her second child, her daughter Zipporah.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2004
© Elizabeth Barden

Accession number: 2004.8

Currently on display: Gallery Three (Robert Oatley Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Elizabeth Barden (age 37 in 2002)

Christine Anu (age 32 in 2002)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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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.