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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.

Nell

2008
Abbey McCulloch

oil and charcoal on canvas (support: 90.3 cm x 150.3 cm depth 5.2 cm)

Born in London, Nell Schofield (b. 1963), television presenter, actress and writer, grew up in Sydney and started surfing at Bondi at age 13. She began her career playing the role of Debbie in the 1981 film Puberty Blues. Along with acting in productions with the Sydney Theatre Company, ABC TV and commercial networks, Schofield has worked as a television and radio presenter. She has narrated a number of documentaries, including the award-winning Cuttlefish: the brainy bunch, and has been voicing Media Watch for nearly two decades. Schofield is a sought-after public speaker and an advocate for social and climate change. In addition to writing film reviews and travel features she has released two books, and written a play, a screenplay and a documentary script.

New Zealand-born Abbey McCulloch spent her childhood on the Gold Coast, and watched Puberty Blues in high school with her friends. She was drawn to Schofield's attitude, transparency and awareness. 'She's the kind of person who doesn’t miss a trick. I hope this painting captures something brave and quietly zealous about her,' McCulloch said of her 2009 Archibald entry. 'There is a fleeting moment between capturing the character and destroying it and it's that space I enjoy.'

Gift of Nell Schofield 2020. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Abbey McCulloch

Artist and subject

Abbey McCulloch

Nell Schofield (age 45 in 2008)

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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 National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency