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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.

Portrait of Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke (Sass & Bide), 2008

Deborah Paauwe

inkjet print on paper (frame: 82.0 cm x 157.0 cm)

Sarah-Jane ‘Sass’ Clarke (right) (b. 1974) and Heidi ‘Bide’ Middleton (b. 1971) founded the fashion label sass & bide. The women met in Brisbane and began selling customised jeans at Portobello Road markets while living in London in the mid-1990s. Returning to Australia in 1999, they established a tiny sass & bide outlet with a small loan. With the launch of their skintight, extreme-hipster jeans, their business skyrocketed and they made their international debut in London in 2003. They went on to show regularly in New York, position their label in some 200 stores around the world and secure a place on the BRW list of Australia’s richest people under 40. Myer bought out sass & bide in late 2013, and Clarke and Middleton severed ties with the brand in 2014.

Deborah Paauwe was born in the USA and came to Australia in 1985 with her family. She studied art in Adelaide and then London, and has since become known for her beguiling, sometimes unsettling images exploring themes such as innocence and vulnerability, often featuring girls and women in vivid, retro or ultra-feminine garments. This commissioned portrait is an example of the Gallery’s instigation of collaboration between subjects and practitioners who might never otherwise have come together.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2008
© Deborah Paauwe

Accession number: 2008.109

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Deborah Paauwe (age 36 in 2008)

Sarah-Jane Clarke (age 34 in 2008)

Heidi Middleton (age 37 in 2008)

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.

Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell
Andy Thomas, 2002 Montalbetti+Campbell

Uncommon Australians

The vision of Gordon and Marilyn Darling

Previous exhibition, 2015

This exhibition showcases portraits acquired through the generosity of the National Portrait Gallery’s Founding Patrons, L Gordon Darling AC CMG and Marilyn Darling AC.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.