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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.

Marcia Langton, 2009

Brook Andrew and Trent Walter (printer)

screenprint (frame: 252.0 cm x 242.0 cm)

Marcia Langton AM (b. 1951), Foundation Chair and Professor of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, is a descendant of the Yiman and Bidjara nations of Queensland. She has published widely in the field of Aboriginal studies, on topics including land tenure, agreement-making, art and film. Her publications include Burning Questions: Emerging Environmental Issues for Indigenous Peoples in Northern Australia (1998) and Settling with Indigenous People (2006). Langton is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences of Australia, a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), and a board member of the Cape York Institute for Policy and Leadership. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for services to anthropology and advocacy of Aboriginal rights. In this portrait Langton’s seated pose refers to her interest in Buddhism; black and white skulls signal the politics of humankind; and a radiant diamond-sun alludes to her successful work with Aboriginal communities and mining companies. These symbols are deliberately open to interpretation: the overall feeling is one of dynamism and energy.

Brook Andrew (b. 1970), a Wiradjuri artist, placed Langton in a pose referring to the interest in Buddhism that she developed while living in Asia in the early 1970s. He says that the black and white skulls signal the politics of humankind, and the radiant diamond-sun alludes to the sitter’s work with Aboriginal communities and mining companies; but the symbols are deliberately open to interpretation.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2009
© Brook Andrew

Accession number: 2009.162.1.a-o

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Brook Andrew (age 39 in 2009)

Trent Walter

Professor Marcia Langton AO (age 58 in 2009)

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.

Marcia Langton, 2009 Brook Andrew, Trent Walter
Marcia Langton, 2009 Brook Andrew, Trent Walter
Marcia Langton, 2009 Brook Andrew, Trent Walter
Marcia Langton, 2009 Brook Andrew, Trent Walter

The art of multiplicity

Magazine article by Meredith Hughes, 2019

Meredith Hughes explores a key Portrait Gallery work, emerging into the infinite iterations of identity.

Peace, the Man and Hope (Anthony Mundine), 2005 by Brook Andrew and Larry Rawling (printer)
Peace, the Man and Hope (Anthony Mundine), 2005 by Brook Andrew and Larry Rawling (printer)
Peace, the Man and Hope (Anthony Mundine), 2005 by Brook Andrew and Larry Rawling (printer)
Peace, the Man and Hope (Anthony Mundine), 2005 by Brook Andrew and Larry Rawling (printer)

In focus

Magazine article, 2017

Brook Andrew, Marcia Langton and Anthony Mundine.

Interview with Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter video: 12 minutes
Interview with Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter video: 12 minutes
Interview with Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter video: 12 minutes
Interview with Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter video: 12 minutes

Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter

'A big idea'

Portrait story

Professor Marcia Langton, artist Brook Andrew and printer Trent Walter discuss the creation of Marcia's portrait.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.