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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.

Bob Maza, 1994 (printed 2003)

Juno Gemes

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.9 cm x 60.6 cm, image: 44.2 cm x 29.0 cm)

Bob Maza (1939-2000), actor, playwright and activist, was born on Palm Island in North Queensland. His father was from Murray Island in the Torres Strait, his mother of the Yidinjdji people. After the 1967 referendum he became active in Aboriginal affairs. In 1970 he travelled to the US as part of a delegation to the United Nations, and spent time working with the National Black Theatre of Harlem. On his return to Australia he co-founded the National Black Theatre of Australia, and began to work as a playwright. His best-known play, The Keepers, was performed at the Adelaide Festival and Belvoir Street Theatre in 1988, and earned him that year's National Black Playwright Award. His other plays include No Shame and the radio drama Sugarbag. As an actor he had a regular role on ABC TV's Bellbird during the 1970s. His work in film included roles in The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1978), The Fringe Dwellers (1985) and Ground Zero (1987). He won the Order of Australia in 1993 and the Red Ochre Award, for outstanding contribution to the arts, in 1988.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2005
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program

Accession number: 2005.50

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Juno Gemes (age 50 in 1994)

Bob Maza (age 55 in 1994)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Juno Gemes (19 portraits)

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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.