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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.

Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW

1994 (printed 2004)
John Elliott

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 76.0 cm x 50.5 cm, image: 64.0 cm x 42.2 cm)

Stan Coster (1930-1997) was one of Australian country music's greatest songwriters - between 1956 and his death in 1997 Stan wrote a total of 161 songs, 72 of which were recorded by his great mate Slim Dusty. The pair met in 1961, while Stan was working in Longreach, Queensland. Less than a year later Slim made his first recording of a Coster composition, "The Return of the Stockman." In 1978 the producer Ross Murphy convinced Coster to record an album of his own material. My People (1979) would be the first of Stan's 14 albums as a recording artist. In the same year he began touring Australia as a singer-storyteller. His travelling show also featured contributions from his wife Dot and daughter Tracy, who is now a successful country singer in her own right. Her album Coster Country (2004) is a tribute to her father featuring a selection of his bush ballads. Stan Coster won 3 Golden Guitars and, in 1990, was elevated to Australian Country Music's Roll of Renown.

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

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

John Elliott (age 43 in 1994)

Stan Coster (age 64 in 1994)

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
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld
Herb Wharton, Cunnamulla, Qld

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
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW
Stan Coster, Manilla, NSW

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 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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