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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.

Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004

John Elliott

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 60.7 cm x 50.6 cm, image: 50.0 cm x 33.0 cm)

Herb Wharton (b. 1936) was born at Yumba, an Aboriginal camp near the Queensland town of Cunnamulla. He began writing poetry in his fifties, after a long career as a stockman, drover and labourer. In 1990 he entered several poems in a competition for unpublished Aboriginal writers, and as a result was commissioned to write a novel for the University of Queensland Press. The resulting book, 1992's Unbranded, drew on Herb's experiences as a stockman in the Australian interior. He has since published the fictional works Cattle Camp (1994) and Where Ya' Been, Mate? (1996), as well as the autobiography Yumba Days (1999), written during a residency at the Australia Council's Paris studio. A frequent participant in major literary festivals throughout Australia and the world, Herb Wharton is an Elder of Queensland's Kooma people and a Life Member of Australia's Stockman's Hall of Fame.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005

Accession number: 2005.30

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Elliott (age 53 in 2004)

Herb Wharton (age 68 in 2004)

Donated by

John Elliott (19 portraits)

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.

Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld, 2004 John Elliott

Thousand mile stare

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2004

John Elliott talks about his photographic portrait practice, including his iconic image of Slim Dusty arm-in-arm with Dame Edna Everage.

Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW, 1994 (printed 2004) John Elliott

Thousand Mile Stare

Portrait photography by John Elliott

Previous exhibition, 2004

Thousand mile stare provides a unique portrait of people of rural Australia

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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.