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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.

Rick Carey, WA, 1998 (printed 2004)

John Elliott

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

Rick and Thelma Carey comprise Australian country music's most famous double act, Rick and Thel. The couple began performing together as The Sliprail Swingsters in 1949. After marrying in 1952 they scored a recording contract with EMI. Among their best-loved songs were the tear-jerker "Fourteen Red Roses for Jenny" and the novelty songs "He's a - She's a" and "I'll Take the Dog." In the 1950s they toured Australia with the famous All Star Western Show, also featuring Chad Morgan and Kevin King. On that tour Rick developed his famed comic character Cousin Ratsack. The Rick and Thel Show, with its blend of music and comedy, was a favourite on the Australian country scene in the 60s and 70s, but the pair went off the road when Thel was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1980s. After her death in 1998 Rick retired from the public eye, although he has recently made a handful of one-off appearances. In 1985 Rick and Thel were inducted into the Australian Country Music Federation's Roll of Renown.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
© John Elliott

Accession number: 2005.42

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

John Elliott (age 47 in 1998)

Rick Carey

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.