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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.

Tim Burstall, Andamooka (filming of the Last of the Knucklemen), c. 1979

Rennie Ellis

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 45.7 cm x 60.8 cm, image: 43.8 cm x 29.4 cm)

Timothy ‘Tim’ Burstall AM (1927-2004), film director and writer, spent his boyhood in England, arriving in Australia with his family in 1937. He graduated from Melbourne University in 1946 with an arts degree and his life partner Betty Rogers. Throughout the 1950s their mudbrick house in rural Eltham drew free thinkers and their lives intertwined with those of the Boyds at Murrumbeena. A pioneer of Australian film, Burstall produced feature films that are recognised as classics of Australian cinema including writer David Williamson’s Stork (1971) with actors Bruce Spence and Jacki Weaver and Petersen (1974) with Jack Thompson and Wendy Hughes. Burstall directed the 1973 sex comedy Alvin Purple, Australia’s first R-certificate film. Throughout the 1960s Burstall’s documentaries highlighted the work of Australian artists including Sidney Nolan, Arthur Boyd, and Clifton Pugh; alongside films on Australian sculpture and Aboriginal art. Tim Burstall’s diaries were published in 2012 under the title Memoirs of a Young Bastard.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2006
© Rennie Ellis Photographic Archive
www.RennieEllis.com.au

Accession number: 2006.65

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Rennie Ellis (age 39 in 1979)

Tim Burstall (age 50 in 1979)

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.

Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978 (printed 2010) Rennie Ellis
Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978 (printed 2010) Rennie Ellis
Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978 (printed 2010) Rennie Ellis
Bon Scott & Angus Young, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978 (printed 2010) Rennie Ellis

No shirt, no service

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2010

Bon Scott and Angus Young photographed by Rennie Ellis are part of a display celebrating summer and images of the shirtless male.

Rosaleen Norton, Witch of Kings Cross, 1970-71 Rennie Ellis
Rosaleen Norton, Witch of Kings Cross, 1970-71 Rennie Ellis
Rosaleen Norton, Witch of Kings Cross, 1970-71 Rennie Ellis
Rosaleen Norton, Witch of Kings Cross, 1970-71 Rennie Ellis

Aussies All

Magazine article by Dr Sarah Engledow, 2006

Rennie Ellis photographs the self-proclaimed 'Witch of Kings Cross'.

Kinky Night. Impressions Club, 1987
Kinky Night. Impressions Club, 1987
Kinky Night. Impressions Club, 1987
Kinky Night. Impressions Club, 1987

Aussies all

Magazine article by Simon Elliott, 2006

The exhibition Aussies all features the ecclectic portrait photography of Rennie Ellis which captures Australian life during the 70s and 80s.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.