This photograph is titled Nora Heysen with her dog, sitting outside her home, Hunters Hill, Sydney and was taken of the painter by Sage, in 2000. The portrait is a gelatin silver photograph in sepia tones, measuring 25.5cm tall by 21cm wide.

The photograph reveals a few details of Nora Heysen’s home exterior. Nora is positioned a few metres from the viewer. Clouded eyes peer from a delicate face and her slight, ageing figure is bent in her chair. She holds a cigarette in one hand, her left foot rests lightly on the back of an elderly, black and white border collie-cross at her feet.

Behind Nora, white, horizontal weatherboards rising up out of view and shimmering garden reflections in a four-pained glass window. On the windowsill, are a collection of ornaments, a candle the shape of a butternut pumpkin, a tall metal tea kettle. More things are arranged on a small wooden table to the right of the scene, inclusive of her ashtray.

In front of the side table, her dog, sitting upright on cement floor bearing signs of heavy use and on our right, so close to the foreground its edges blur, is the corner of a larger table covered in a white cloth.

Nora’s slight form is the centre of the image. Her head is at an angle, light washing out the left side of her face, lined skin on her right, caught by the light. Nora’s tall, white hair is swept untidily back from her face, sitting up high off her forehead, tucked behind her ears, fine wisps escaping. Her brow is raised, traversed by three deep lines, her short, shapely grey eyebrows slanting up. Nora’s eyes are deep-set, heavy lidded, gazing towards us. Two creases join her nose to the outer corners of her mouth. Her lips are closed, her jaw relaxed her expression unreadable. Nora’s light skin at her neck droops from beneath her chin into the open collar of her light coloured shirt.

The shirt, and all of Nora’s clothing is simple and loose fitting. Her dark waistcoat, in wide ribbed corduroy, is undone, three metallic buttons gleam, spaced along the left edge; at the hip is a pocket, with a pale triangle of fabric nosing out. Nora’s thin legs are encased in trousers of the same wide ribbed corduroy as the waistcoat, but in a lighter shade.

Nora is sitting on a folded crochet blanket on the seat of a plain, angular, wooden chair; its surface scratched and pitted, in patches, the dark varnish has worn away. Her shoulders are rounded forward, her body bowed to her right. Both elbows lean on either arm of the chair; her right arm propped up, with a smoldering cigarette held between her fore and middle fingers, while the left hand dangles towards her lap, palm down, fingers curled.

Nora’s knees are slightly apart and in its pale leather shoe, her left foot rests possessively on her chubby, tired dog’s thick black and white coat.

The collie is grey around its muzzle, eyes and ears. Its left eye is milky white, reflecting the light. The dog’s front legs are outstretched, white paws with black sleeves and it rests side on to Nora.

Running from the wall of the house in the back of the portrait, to the foreground, two black lines; joins in the precast concrete floor, frame Nora Heysen and her dog in the scene.

Audio description written by Lucie Shawcross and voiced by Emma Bedford