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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.

Jimmy Little, 2003

Juno Gemes

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 60.8 cm x 51.0 cm, image: 44.0 cm x 32.4 cm)

Jimmy Little AO (1937–2012), singer, made his recording debut in 1956. Australia’s first indigenous pop star, Little was one of a handful of well-known Aboriginal people by the late 1950s. After a national number one hit, ‘Royal Telephone’, he was named Pop Star of the Year in 1964. Over the 1970s, by which time he had gained the nickname ‘Gentleman Jim’, Little’s popularity lapsed, and he went on the club circuit. In a characteristically low-key resurgence, he won the Mo award in 1997 and in 1999 his album 'Messenger' – featuring covers of songs by The Cruel Sea, Nick Cave, Paul Kelly and The Church – won an ARIA Award for Best Adult Contemporary Album. He was named Best Male Artist at the Deadly Awards the same year. At 64 he released his 29th album, 'Resonate' (2001), which featured songs by artists such as Kelly, Bernard Fanning and Dave Graney. Named a Living National Treasure, Little received two honorary doctorates and won the Classic Rock Performer Mo Award following the release of his 34th album, 'Life’s what you make it', in 2004.

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

Accession number: 2005.52

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Juno Gemes (age 59 in 2003)

Jimmy Little AO (age 66 in 2003)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Juno Gemes (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.

Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba, 1982 Juno Gemes
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba, 1982 Juno Gemes
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba, 1982 Juno Gemes
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba, 1982 Juno Gemes

Proof

Portraits from The Movement 1978-2003

Previous exhibition, 2003

Portraits from The Movement is the first comprehensive survey of photographs from the Juno Gemes archive, which has supported the Aboriginal struggle for justice in Australia from 1978 to the present day.

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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.