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Gill Hicks

In their own words

Recorded 2021

Gill Hicks
Audio: 2 minutes 9 seconds

If someone had told me the day before the bombing that this would happen to me, I absolutely know that I would have said, ‘There is no way I will be able to do that. I will not be able to function as a double amputee, I won't be able to balance, you know, what does that mean?’ And I'm so impressed – and I’ll say it collectively because I believe it collectively, that it's part of who we are as human beings – I’m so impressed with our ability to adapt, and that our sense of – my sense of – life was so strong that it superseded everything else. So if I've got a chance to have a life, where I can learn how to walk and balance on prosthetic legs, then fantastic, I'm gonna grab at that.

What I found extraordinary about seeing the portrait was I've never been captured like that before. I'm always mentally busy, and there's always something going on and there was this capturing, that I felt that Tony had actually just gone into my soul. And I've never seen that before. Because I look calm. I think there's a serenity about the picture that's extraordinary. And for me, I don't see the poles where the legs used to be, I don't see the prosthetics first. I get a sense of serenity first. And then I hone in on the detail. And I think that is what makes the portrait actually quite exceptional, that I don't see what's different. I get an experience of feeling from it first.

Acknowledgements

This recording was made during interviews for the National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Stories series.

Related people

Dr Gill Hicks AM MBE

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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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