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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, songwriter and actor, was born in Cairns, Queensland. Her mother's family were from Saibai Island and her father's from Mabuig Island in the Torres Strait. As a teenager she moved to Sydney to train 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), Acoustically (2005), Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook (2012) and ReStylin' Up 20 Years (2015), a re-visioning of her debut album, followed. She has performed in theatre musicals including Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, The Sapphires and South Pacific, and appeared in films including Moulin Rouge (2001) and The Matrix Reloaded (2003). A stage show based on her life, Intimate and Deadly, toured Australian cities in 2005. She hosts a radio program, ABC Evenings with Christine Anu.

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, daughter Zipporah.

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

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Elizabeth Barden (age 37 in 2002)

Christine Anu (age 32 in 2002)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Elizabeth Barden (1 portrait)

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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