This portrait is of the rock band Midnight Oil and is titled Nothing's as precious as a hole in the ground. The painting was created in 2001 by eX de Medici using mangrove bark pigment, watercolour and gouache on vellum. It measures about 1.5 m tall by 2 m wide, encased under glass in a wide dark wood frame.

The heads and shoulders of the 5 band members are depicted in the foreground, along the lower portion of the canvas. Behind them, in the lower left, is a group of 4 small figures, and filling the background is the red-brown earth of the open cut mine.

The work has been constructed from 6 hides, the seam joins visible. The rust-red mangrove bark pigment used to paint the background has the consistency of ink; thick and rich in places while just a thin wash in others. The Ranger Uranium mine, in Kakadu, the Northern Territory, takes up the top two-thirds of the scene. In the very top is a narrow ribbon of blank canvas; pale sky. Beneath this is a range of mountains, including Mount Brockman. In the middle of the image is the complex mine site of small scattered buildings, criss-crossing roads, ponds and stepped pits.

On the lower left of the image, standing on the red earth above the mine, is Gary Morris, Midnight Oils’ manager, a tall figure in a green t-shirt and blue trousers. To his right is the office and management team from past to present, with Stephanie Lewis in an anti-uranium mining t-shirt and jeans, Diana Lindsay with arms crossed wearing red and black, and Arlene Brooks in black.

The Midnight Oil members are positioned in 2 rows, with 3 in the back and 2 in the front, shown from chest up. They all have similarly neutral expressions as they gaze towards us wearing identical round-necked t-shirts, and each of their necks is adorned with the delicate wing patterns of local moth species.

From the far left, back row, Martin Rotsey the guitarist is positioned. His narrow face looks directly forward. He has light-brown hair, short on the sides and fuller on top, with a few strands fanning over his forehead. Martin has fine fair brows above his bright blue eyes. He has a straight nose and full pink lips that are closed. The moth pattern on his neck includes flecks of bright yellow.

To Martin’s right in the front row is Rob Hirst, the band’s drummer, a singer and percussionist. Rob’s face is angled slightly towards the left of the image. His hair is black, of medium length, with a short sparse fringe above dark eyebrows. Despite the tilt of his head Rob looks directly towards us with brown-green eyes. He has a long straight nose and his thin lips are downturned at their edges with a fine tuft of facial hair beneath the bottom lip. The moth wings adorning his neck have dashes of blue and orange.

Peter Garrett, Midnight Oil’s lead vocalist and harmonica player, is in the very centre of the group, close behind his 2 band mates in the front row. Peter’s head is straight on, his bald skull and chiselled features emphasised by the play of light and shadow. Peter has a prominent brow with fair eyebrows and intense green eyes. He has a distinct broad nose and his lips are slightly parted with the top teeth just showing. The moth pattern covering his neck is brown and white.

To the right of Peter is the fourth member of the group, Jim Moginie, a singer and player of the guitar, organ, autoharp and harmonium. Jim has medium-brown hair cut short at the sides with a small quiff curving over the top of his head. He has a high forehead and low thick light-brown brows. Jim has bright blue-grey somewhat narrowed eyes, a long blunt nose, full lower cheeks and closed lips. His moth has red markings that run down the centre of his throat.

On the far right of the portrait in the back row is Bones Hillman, a singer and bass player. Bones’ brown hair, with streaks of silver and gold, is short, sticking up around his face. His longer fringe spills unevenly over his lined forehead. He has prominent red-brown eyebrows over his sea-green eyes. Bones has a strong nose, drawn-in cheeks and an angular jaw. He has thin pursed lips and a square chin. Covering Bones’ neck is a moth pattern in red and yellow.

Audio description written by Lucie Shawcross and voiced by Krysia Kitch