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.

Napier Waller

In their own words

Recorded 1965

Napier Waller
Audio: 2 minutes

In 1915 I enlisted and eventually I found myself in France, in action. In 1917 at Bullecourt, I was wounded and eventually had my right arm amputated. Just as soon as I was sufficiently strong, I felt the urge to continue drawing and tried to do something about the situation. So, I set about training my left hand to do what the right hand had been accustomed to do. When I returned to Australia, I continued my work with war sketches and memories of action in France in pictorial form.

From there my work diverted rather to imaginative work in mostly watercolour. Just a few years later I realised that I was working rather on too small a scale with the character of watercolour, and felt that I should be using a medium that allowed me to express my design and ideas on a larger scale. And so began the larger part of my life’s work in mural decoration and design.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Napier Waller is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

Related people

Napier Waller CMG OBE

Related information

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!

Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

© 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