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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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Narelle Autio

In their own words

Recorded 2018

Narelle Autio
Audio: 2 minutes

I love the traditional portrait but I also think for me and the way I shoot, it’s about using the landscape as a bit of chance in there as well, like the fact that we rolled up and we don’t really know what we’re going to do and that we don’t really know what the light’s going to do and if it does come together, it will come together, and it’s about that moment in history and time and place. It can’t be recreated.

So yeah, it was great. We had this beautiful, you know, balmy day, really, in the middle of winter, or the end of winter, and this beautiful location which was a bit difficult to find, you know, like it’s a strange sort of place on the other side of the hills in Adelaide, leading to Murray Bridge, and it’s quite barren I guess, rolling hills, when all of a sudden this crop of rock sort of just breaks out of the ground, really. And we were lucky enough to find Mick who let us onto his property, and yeah, so I guess it all came together in the end.

I guess for the last half hour, it was really fun, because we were actually just chasing the light around, you know, ‘cos we were behind a little bit of an edge of hills and so we were losing the light and we just basically started down below and then walked up the hill and then found this she-oak and, you know, had ten minutes there and that was our picture.

I guess I like using the landscape like a stage, you know, you find something special and then you wait for the light. I love using natural light, I love seeing what the sun can do and how it can illuminate things that you may not necessarily see – it actually points you into a direction to look at, you know, and that’s, in the end, you standing there and having the light shine on you and you are in this beautiful white dress which kind of has a lovely soft glow on it. It brings a little bit of magic to it, you know, I guess with the magic hour we shot it in. But all the parts of that picture tell a story.

Acknowledgements

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

Related people

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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