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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.

Artist interviews

Headspace 4

Memory is a vital human activity, which shapes our links to the past, and the way we remember defines us in the present. We all have ‘stories’ and ‘narratives’ to tell about our lives, and the lives of other people, that both shape and convey our sense of self. Memories are very valuable to us and when they overlap with the imagination they can be the source of art.

Students across all levels of learning in the secondary schools were invited to explore the idea of memory in their portrait artworks for Facing Memory: Headspace 4. In exploring the theme of memory students have expanded their understanding of portraiture, pushed its boundaries and possibilities. Their work interprets and records memory across different registers of experience - embracing the personal, the collective and the historical. Some works are produced as a series, some are collaborative works and others are single works of varying scale.

We are moved by the works that reflect on close bonds between family, friends, pets and childhood memories. We are fascinated by the portraits by which students explore extraordinary events of the every day; valuing the moment and their sensory responses to the natural world; and by their capability to visualise and generate ideas. We are challenged by the student’s revelations of their concerns about social issues, war, and the degeneration of the environment.

Through the Headspace program the National Portrait Gallery is committed to existing collaborations and forging new learning partnerships with the education community. Contemporary research asserts that art impacts on learning in positive and life changing ways. Facing Memory: Headspace 4 is a tangible example.

Pamela Clelland Gray and Maria Gravias

The Headspace 4 Video captures interviews with:

  • Clancy Lumb
  • Jacqui Bradley
  • Erin Walsh
  • Amy Snoekstra
  • Katy Patterson
  • Mikael Hattingh
  • Pamela Clelland Gray (National Portrait Gallery)
  • Maria Gravias (National Portrait Gallery)

Production team: Steven De Costa and Paul Voveris (Link Web Services) and Leonie Hellmers, (National Portrait Gallery).

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency