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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.

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Dr B Marika AO

Mihail Tsikas

inkjet print on paper (frame: 79.7 cm x 110.5 cm depth 4.5 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Dr B Marika AO was an artist and printmaker from Arnhem Land, and a member of the Rirratjingu clan of the Yolngu people. In 2019, Dr Marika was chosen to be the Northern Territory's 2020 Senior Australian of the Year during a ceremony in Alice Springs, where I took her portrait. When I met Dr Marika, I saw the timeless look in her eyes. How do you capture time? While I was adjusting exposures, she tentatively put her hand to her hair to smooth it down. It was at that moment I took the photograph, and I felt I had captured timelessness and living memory.

The subject of this photograph has recently passed away. The Gallery respects Indigenous peoples and communities’ cultural protocols; as such the first name of the subject will not be used and the portrait will not be displayed online or in the Gallery while we consult with the family and community of the subject as to their wishes. We thank you for your understanding.

Gift of the artist 2022

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

Mihail Tsikas

Dr B Marika AO (age 66 in 2020)

Subject professions


Visual arts and crafts

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