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

Anh Do Seeing Ruby

oil on linen

240.4 x 200.3 cm

The subject of Anh Do’s painting is influential Gunditjmara and Bundjalung singer-songwriter Archie Roach, who died in July 2022, aged 66.

‘I have been a big fan of Archie Roach’s music for a long time. In 2018, I met Archie for the first time when I interviewed him on my TV show, Anh’s brush with fame,’ says Do.

‘We enjoyed each other’s company very much and became friends. I started painting Archie for the Archibald Prize when he was still with us. Then I heard that he had passed away. Deeply saddened, I went into the studio and began a new painting. I played Archie’s albums on repeat, and painted and cried and painted for two days.

‘Archie once told me he was terrified of dying, but there was another part of him that was okay with it, because he thought he might get to see his late wife, Ruby Hunter, again.

‘In this portrait, I’m trying to capture that moment – the moment when Archie sees Ruby again.’

A five-time Archibald finalist, Do won the 2017 People’s Choice with a portrait of Jack Charles.

The family of Archie Roach have kindly given permission for his name and image to be referenced in this artwork and displayed within this exhibition.

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