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

Tsering Hannaford Nanna Mara

oil on board

89.8 x 89.8 cm

Tsering Hannaford’s subject is Berry Malcolm, a respected Yindjibarndi Elder, cultural custodian, linguist, artist and yirramagayi (song composer).

‘Nanna Berry, also known as Nanna Mara, is the holder of cultural knowledge, which she has nurtured and passed down, supporting her community and caring for her Pilbara tableland Country for over 50 years. She also has a great sense of humour!’ says Tarntanya/Adelaide-based Hannaford, a nine-time Archibald finalist.

Hannaford spent two weeks in Ieramugadu/Roebourne, Western Australia, in August 2022 painting Nanna Mara as part of a project facilitated by Big hART, a lutruwita/Tasmanian-based organisation that collaborates with local communities around the country to drive social change.

Hannaford had seven sittings with Nanna Mara in the old Roebourne library with an open invitation to anyone in the community to come and watch the painting process.

‘I felt privileged to be welcomed to a beautiful part of Australia, with such a deep and rich history,’ says Hannaford. ‘It was special to sit with Nanna Mara as her portrait quietly unfolded, and to be able to share this with the Yindjibarndi people.’

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