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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.

Acacius (Stigmata) - portrait of Tony Carden, 1991

AñA Wojak

oil and gold leaf on cedar panel (support: 121.5 cm x 103.0 cm)

Anthony Carden (1961–1995), activist, studied acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York in the early 1980s before returning home to work in theatre, film and television in Sydney and Melbourne. After being diagnosed with AIDS, he joined ACTUP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), subsequently becoming a tireless lobbyist for better standards of medical care, enhanced treatment, improved hospital facilities (including beds), and effective safe sex education. He was also prominent in the fight against explicit discrimination against HIV/AIDS sufferers, and against LGBT people more generally. Together with Clover Moore, then the Member for Bligh in the NSW Legislative Assembly, he helped raise $1 million for the refurbishment of St Vincent’s Hospital’s Ward 17 South, Australia’s first dedicated ward for HIV/AIDS patients. From 1993 onwards Carden assembled a work called Warrior Blood, comprising blood droplets collected from AIDS patients, medical staff, academics, entertainers, priests, nuns and others on fabric swatches. The work was exhibited in Don’t Leave Me This Way: Art in the Age of AIDS at the National Gallery of Australia in 1994–1995, as was this portrait. His health having deteriorated throughout his years of activism, Carden died five years after his diagnosis.

In 2015, Carden’s mother Lesley Saddington donated Wojak’s painting - a significant artefact of the history of Sydney’s gay and lesbian community - to the National Portrait Gallery in honour of her son’s achievements.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Lesley Saddington 2015

Accession number: 2015.49

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

AñA Wojak (age 37 in 1991)

Anthony Charles Carden (age 30 in 1991)

Subject professions

Activism

Related information

Acacius (Stigmata) - portrait of Tony Carden, 1991 AñA Wojak
Acacius (Stigmata) - portrait of Tony Carden, 1991 AñA Wojak
Acacius (Stigmata) - portrait of Tony Carden, 1991 AñA Wojak
Acacius (Stigmata) - portrait of Tony Carden, 1991 AñA Wojak

Stigma stigmata

Magazine article by Angus Trumble, 2015

Angus Trumble provides poignant context for Aña Wojak’s portrait of Tony Carden.

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.

Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill), 1982 Paul Worstead
Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill), 1982 Paul Worstead
Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill), 1982 Paul Worstead
Creatures of Leisure series (David 'Bird' Twohill), 1982 Paul Worstead

Electric!

Portraits that pop!

Previous exhibition, 2018

Celebrate the Gallery’s 20th birthday summer with Electric! Portraits that pop! The collection exhibition features a mix of bright, bold and colourful paintings, prints and photographs, and buoyant video portraits.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.