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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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Portrait of a Girl Eating, 2006

by Leyla Stevens

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2007 Finalist

There is a certain painting by Rene Magritte titled Young Girl Eating a Bird (1927). A young schoolgirl in a velvet dress edged with lace devours unashamedly a bird, as if it were an apple. My friend Sara has always reminded me of someone belonging to another time in history, with her penchant and obsession for old things. There is a rather fragile beauty to her, and yet like the Magritte painting, a taste for the macabre. Rather than aim for a truthful documentation of Sara, my interest as a photographer is to displace and abstract ordinary gestures into unfamiliar situations. To study minute and private moments, our personal rituals: to examine what happens when people are alone.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2007

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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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