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

🛈 Find out what you need to know before visiting


Poppy Chicka



No image
  • Details

    Other Title
    Sitter: Charles Madden - Sydney Elder
    Media category
    Materials used
    acrylic on clayboard
    40.5 x 30.5 x 4.0 cm
    Purchased with funds provided by the Aboriginal Collection Benefactors' Group 2020
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Thea Anamara Perkins
    Archibald Prize
    - 2020
    Artist information
    Thea Anamara Perkins

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Thea Perkins’s portrait of her dearly beloved poppy Chicka is intimate; here Uncle Chicka stands during Golden Hour, right before sunset. Uncle Chicka’s gaze is pensive as he looks out at the viewer. His eyes are soft, and the lines of aging around his face reflect the years of service that he has given to the Sydney Aboriginal Community and to cultural organisations like the Gallery.

    ‘I painted my pop as I wanted to pay homage to him as a prominent and respected Gadigal Elder, known around Redfern as ‘Chicka’. He’s given a lifetime of service to local grassroots organisations, including the Aboriginal Medical Service, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council, and his beloved Redfern All Blacks. He also worked on the railways in Sydney for over 50 years. He has the gentleness that comes with great strength and integrity.

    ‘I initially painted him in the suit that he wears to give Welcomes to Country, which is very dignified. However, I realised I wanted to show a more private side and opted for a more casual setting. I hope this painting conveys how I feel about my grandfather and how our family is – to quote musician Kev Carmody – “blessed with the gentlest of men”.’ Thea Anamara Perkins 2020

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions