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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Study (c) for portrait of Helen Garner

2003
Jenny Sages

charcoal, pencil and oil on canvas (support: 30.5 cm x 23.0 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 J Sages Family Trust 2009
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Jenny Sages

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Jenny Sages (age 70 in 2003)

Helen Garner (age 61 in 2003)

Subject professions

Media and communications

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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency