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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Queenie McKenzie Nakara

1997
Greg Weight

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.4 cm x 50.4 cm, image: 29.3 cm x 42.9 cm)

Queenie McKenzie (c. 1930–1998) was a prominent Gija artist in the East Kimberley painting movement. Born at Texas Downs Station on the Ord River to a Malngin/Gurindji mother and a white father, McKenzie worked as a cook on cattle stations for almost 40 years until 1973 when she settled in Warmun (Turkey Creek). A strong member of the Warmun community, she taught the Gija language and culture at the local school, played a significant role in the reclaiming of traditional land in the region, and was heavily committed to ceremonial life. She began painting in the late 1980s, encouraged by her friend, artist Rover Thomas. Her paintings mapped Country, blending landscape with her Dreamings, historical events and episodes from her life. She liked to mix natural earth pigments to make new colours, including soft pinks and purples, a hallmark of her works. After producing her first prints in 1995 in collaboration with printmaker Theo Tremblay, she also became an active printmaker.

During a party at Mt Tomah in the Blue Mountains, McKenzie and a group of friends walked to the lookout at the end of the road. As photographer Greg Weight noted in his book Australian Artists: 'Queenie, well into her 70s, straddled the wire fence like the rest of us to reach the clearing and the view where these photographs were taken.'

Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM 2004. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2022

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Greg Weight (age 51 in 1997)

Queenie McKenzie Nakara (age 67 in 1997)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Patrick Corrigan AM (123 portraits)

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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