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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.

Study for portrait of Helen Garner, 2005

Jenny Sages

charcoal on paper (sheet: 29.2 cm x 41.8 cm)

These sketches of Helen Garner record the hours she and Jenny Sages spent talking together in the studio atop the artist's home in Sydney's eastern suburbs. The space is a bright eyrie, and though they are 'preparatory' works these paintings are good examples of Sages's skill at capturing the light of varying times of day. The artist had approached the author as a stranger, but having met, the two soon formed a comfortable connection. In 2010 Garner revisited the space, to talk with Sages and filmmaker Catherine Hunter about the experience of having her portrait painted. Although the recent meeting was 'set up' for the purpose of the film, Sages found that everyone relaxed straight away, and conversation and laughter amongst the three women - one in her forties, one in her fifties and one in her seventies (one mother, and two grandmothers) - flowed naturally.

Caption: Sarah Engledow, National Portrait Gallery

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist

Accession number: 2007.42

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jenny Sages (age 72 in 2005)

Helen Garner (age 63 in 2005)

Subject professions

Writing

Donated by

Jenny Sages (27 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.