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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.

Jimmy and Jane Barnes

2020
Jesse Lizotte

inkjet print on paper, edition A/P (frame: 125 cm x 99 cm)

Jimmy and Jane were inseparable from the beginning. 'At first sight, I thought Jimmy was handsome,' Jane remembers. 'Mostly though I was attracted to his wit and humour, he made me laugh.' Jimmy recalls that he would 'run away from the band on tour and hitchhike to be with her. Then the next day, I'd have to hitchhike back in time to be on stage.' We hear so much about the supposed inextricability of 'sex and drugs and rock n roll' that it's easy to forget about the enduring relationships that have been forged behind – and in spite of – the limelight. Jimmy and Jane Barnes' partnership has lasted more than forty years so far. As Jane says: 'We have made the choice to grow old together, for better or for worse, and as time passes there is nothing better.'

Photographer Jesse Lizotte is Jimmy and Jane's nephew. His challenge for capturing the essence of their bond in this portrait was to show 'this softer, more gentle side' of his uncle, and not the rock 'n' roll hardman of countless other images. 'Jane had come to me with a French love poem, alongside a series of paintings by Chagall,' Lizotte explains. 'I wanted to create a floating illusion, and to incorporate the roses that Jimmy picks from their garden and arranges for Jane every day.'

Purchased 2021
© Jesse Lizotte

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

Jesse Lizotte (age 29 in 2020)

Jimmy Barnes AO (age 64 in 2020)

Jane Barnes (age 62 in 2020)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related portraits

1. , 1984. All Grant Matthews.

Related information

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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.

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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 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.

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