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Anna Meares

In their own words

Recorded 2018

Anna Meares
Audio: 2 minutes

When I was asked to be one of the subjects for the 20th anniversary birthday for the National Portrait Gallery I was quite taken aback and also very nervous because I’ve been captured in many ways mostly in Lycra on bikes with medals. and I wanted to be able to present an image of myself of where I’m at in life today, of the woman, not the person who rides a bike. I come from the country, and so I asked Narelle to present me, I guess, in a slightly softer, more feminine way but allow the landscape that I’m sat in in this image to speak for the strength, the toughness, the resilience that I’ve shown in my career.

When I met Narelle, I remember the first thing she said is ‘So what do you think, what are your ideas?’ and I was so happy that she asked me first rather than giving me her ideas ‘cos I was scared she was going to say how I’m going to put the bike here and we’re going to put Lycra there. And then as I kind of explained to her how I felt about it and the ideas that I had, I could see, I think, she really resonated with it and she took it from there. So I kind of relied on Narelle around, you know, locations, given her experience of photography in South Australia and I said I was looking for something that could convey some contrast, I guess, between the softness of how I want to be presented to the harshities that the country and land can portray, and maybe the landscape could speak for some of the traits that I’m known for as an athlete but also the person, so … the tree as well, you know, it’s struggling to grow and has grown for a very long time, and you can see the wear and the effect, of, you know, what it’s gone through, the struggles, the challenges that it’s faced, you know, you see the dead log in front of it where parts of it have broken off but it’s continued to grow and I think that really symbolises the resilience and tough things that I’ve had to experience in my career as well.

Acknowledgements

This recording was made during interviews for the National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Stories series.

Related people

Anna Meares OAM

Related information

Anna Meares and Narelle Autio

'Come along for the ride'

Portrait story

Champion track cyclist, Anna Meares, discusses her portrait with artist Narelle Autio.

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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.

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