We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Living portraits

Come behind the scenes of the rehearsals for the Archie Plus performance series as the Gallery invites local artists to present a series of live works in our Grand Courts.

In a large gallery space, a person dressed in black moves, surrounded by black figure sculptures.

Julie Barton rehearsing for the Archie Plus performance series

Including dance, performance and spoken word, this exciting live series brings together a range of perspectives around the theme of portraiture to look at how we represent ourselves, and those around us, in the way we move, gesture, speak and write.

The artists have taken inspiration from the Gallery’s art collection and the architecture of the Grand Courts to show us that a portrait can extend beyond the image; that it is something living. The participating artists include Meryl Tankard with Regis Lansac, Angela Goh, Juliette Barton (Sydney Dance Company), Frank Mainoo with Ruth Fattal, and Winnie Dunn.

The final performances, presented to the public as a series of chance encounters, will unfold at the Gallery between 28 November and 5 December 2020.

One person leans over a table which holds a series of images. Another person works at a sewing machine.

Frank Mainoo and Ruth Fattal rehearsal

In a gallery space, a person works at a sewing machine with an image of a person lying on the table beside them.
Material printed with a series of photos and a graphic design sits on a table beside a sewing machine and a pincushion.
A person stands on a small ledge in a large archway between two rooms in a gallery.

Angela Goh rehearsal

A person kneels with one leg on a small ledge in a large archway between two rooms in a gallery. They hold the wall with both hands as their other leg dangles.
A person sits on a stool in a corner of a gallery between gold-framed historic paintings.

Meryl Tankard rehearsal

A person sits in a corner of a gallery between gold-framed historic paintings, with their eyes closed and their hands cupped one above the other.
In a gallery space, a person stands in a slightly twisted position on top of a packing crate. Around them are three figure sculptures and a mural depicting several people.

Julie Barton rehearsal

A person balances sideways between two packing crates of different heights. Behind them is a figure sculpture and a mural depicting people and water.