Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

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.

Us Mob, Rock Against Racism Concert, Paddington Town Hall

1980 (printed 2021)
Juno Gemes

inkjet print on paper (image: 45 cm x 29.8 cm, sheet: 49 cm x 33.8 cm)

Us Mob were an Aboriginal rock band active in the 1970s and 1980s. The band's members Rodney Ansell, Pedro Butler, Carroll Karpany and Wally McArthur formed the band at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in Music in Adelaide. Though they wrote and performed regularly, the band encountered racism in their pursuit of a record contract, with many music executives doubting the appeal of their music and its messages to mainstream audiences. Partly in response to this situation, Us Mob and fellow First Nations band No Fixed Address appeared in and contributed to the soundtrack for the 1981 film Wrong Side of the Road, which told the story of two bands attempting to find mainstream success in the Australian music industry. The film provided a recording launch pad for Us Mob, and the release of the soundtrack made Us Mob and No Fixed Address the first contemporary Aboriginal bands to have their music recorded. They were nominated for an Australian Film Institute award in 1981. Us Mob's music was known for its upbeat desert reggae sounds and for its uncompromising, politically-charged lyrics. Though they had received critical success through the Wrong Side of the Road soundtrack it was to be their only album: they disbanded when, having relocated to Sydney, they lost all their equipment in a fire.

Purchased 2021
© Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

Juno Gemes (age 36 in 1980)

Us Mob

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.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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