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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.

Ruby Hunter

1996 (printed 2012)
Jacqueline Mitelman

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 63.8 cm x 54.7 cm, image: 43.2 cm x 34.0 cm, frame: depth 4.2 cm)

Ruby Hunter (1955–2010), singer/songwriter, was a Ngarrindjeri/ Kukatha/ Pitjantjatjara woman from South Australia. Taken from her family at age eight and raised in foster care, Hunter was sixteen and homeless when she met Archie Roach at a Salvation Army drop-in centre. They were inseparable partners for life. The first Aboriginal woman signed to a major record label, Hunter released her first album, Thoughts within, in 1994. Her second, Feeling good, won her the Deadly Award in 2000 for female artist of the year. She made her acting debut in One Night the Moon (2001) directed by Rachel Perkins and starring Paul Kelly. She won the Deadly Award for outstanding contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music in 2003 and with Roach and Paul Grabowsky won another in 2004 for Ruby’s Story. Both solo and with Roach, Hunter recorded and performed with many top Australian and international acts. She and Roach won the Sydney Myer Performing Arts Award in 2009. Following her death at age 54, Archie Roach established the Ruby Hunter Foundation to continue her work in supporting and celebrating Indigenous arts and culture.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2012
© Jacqueline Mitelman

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.
Audio description icon

Audio description

2 minutes 40 seconds
Show transcript

Artist and subject

Jacqueline Mitelman (age 44 in 1996)

Ruby Hunter (age 41 in 1996)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Jacqueline Mitelman

'Buddha-nature'

Portrait story

Australian photographer, Jacqueline Mitelman, discusses her process for creating portraiture.

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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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.

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