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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.

Paddy Bedford, 2003

Jim Anderson

inkjet print on canvas (image: 80.0 cm x 49.5 cm)

Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford (1920/1924–2007), also known as Goowoomji or Guwumji, artist and Gija elder, was born on Bedford Downs Station, near Warmun in Western Australia. As was so for many of his contemporaries, he was given the surname Bedford based on his place of birth. As a boy and a young man, Bedford worked as a stockman on cattle stations in the district, receiving rations such as tea, flour, sugar and tobacco as wages. In 1969, following the introduction of equal rates of pay for Indigenous pastoral workers, he and many other Aboriginal people lost their jobs. Bedford and his wife were then sent to live on a mission, their three children having been taken from them. As a senior law man, he had long been involved in ceremonial painting but did not begin painting on canvas until 1997, when Jirrawun Aboriginal Arts was established. Bedford’s work drew on ancestral Dreamings, his country and historical events, including a series of paintings depicting the poisoning murders of Gija men on Bedford Downs in the 1910s. A retrospective of his paintings was held by the Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007; and his work is represented in major collections here and overseas.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2013
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Jim Anderson

Accession number: 2013.59

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Jim Anderson (age 66 in 2003)

Paddy Nyunkuny Bedford (age 83 in 2003)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

Related information

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Permanent collection catalogue

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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.

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Support Crew

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2011

Portraits of philanthropists in the collection honour their contributions to Australia and acknowledge their support of the National Portrait Gallery.

John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight
John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight
John Coburn, 1987 Greg Weight
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101 photographic portraits

Magazine article by Michelle Fracaro, 2004

Pat Corrigan's generous gift of 100 photographic portraits by Greg Weight.

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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.