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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.

Michael with beetroot sprouting, 2008

Janet Dawson

pastel on paper (sheet: 76.7 cm x 56.2 cm)

Michael Boddy (1934–2014), writer and actor, was born in England and educated at Cambridge before arriving in Australia as a 'ten quid migrant' in 1960. He worked in theatre in Melbourne for some time before moving to Sydney, where he won several awards for his work as a writer, actor and director in film, theatre, television and radio. He co-wrote and starred in Biggles, the first production staged by the Nimrod Theatre Company, in 1970. In 1971 he won one of his two Australian Writers' Awgie Awards for his stage play The Legend of King O'Malley (which he co-wrote with Bob Ellis). Throughout the seventies and early eighties he continued to write popular historical works for the stage, including an adaptation of Bill Gammage's book The Broken Years which was last performed at the Australian War Memorial in 1999. He was a pioneer of Theatre in Education and wrote twenty-seven TIE plays. His many writing honours include the Captain Cook Bicentennial Award; the Producers' and Directors' Guild Award; the PEN Award; and the Erik Award for contribution to theatre. With his wife Janet Dawson he established the Bugle Press in 1979. He was a regular columnist in the national press on food, consumer affairs, natural history and farming; his newsletter, Kitchen Talk, was praised as an authoritative source by leading Australian chefs Stephanie Alexander and Maggie Beer.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2015

Accession number: 2015.121

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Janet Dawson (age 73 in 2008)

Michael Boddy (age 74 in 2008)

Subject professions

Performing arts

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.

Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961
Brown form with stripes, 1961

Figurative foundation

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2010

Joanna Gilmour explores the life and art of the Australian artist Janet Dawson.

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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.