Skip to main content
Menu

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.

Mark Ella

2015
Nikki Toole

type C photograph on paper (frame: 126.7 cm x 106.5 cm, image: 118.8 cm x 98.5 cm)

Mark Ella AM (b. 1959) was named among the eleven inaugural 'legends' of the International Rugby Board Hall of Fame in 2013. One of twelve siblings, Mark, his twin Glen and their brother Gary began playing rugby at Matraville High School in the 1970s. Having played for the Australian Schoolboys in Britain in 1977–1978, Mark made his Test debut in 1980 against the All Blacks. In all, he played 26 Tests for the Wallabies, captaining the side in ten. In 1984 he was a member of the first and only Australian side to achieve a grand slam, scoring a try in all four of the Wallabies' Test victories against the Home Nations. Ella was named one of the four original Australian Rugby Invincibles in 2013.

When Nikki Toole was commissioned to photograph Ella she read his autobiography. Reading about the straitened circumstances of his childhood, she'd been impressed with Ella's energy, willingness to take risks and his thoughtfulness. She only took about six pictures during the shoot at her Melbourne studio: three while they were laughing and he was drinking coffee, and another three after she suggested he try not thinking about her taking his photograph. They ceased to engage, and of the second three photographs she knew that this one was 'the one'.

Commissioned with funds from the Patrick Corrigan Portrait Commission Series 2015
© Nikki Toole

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

Nikki Toole (age 50 in 2015)

Mark Ella AM (age 56 in 2015)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

Supported by

Patrick Corrigan AM (13 portraits supported)

Related portraits

1. Rosie Batty, 2017. 2. Tilman Ruff, 2019. All Nikki Toole.
© National Portrait Gallery 2022
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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 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