Australia 1944 – 1993
Sammie Alfie Drew, Local Macleay Aboriginal Sporting Identity (Football and Cricket)
Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: paintings, synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Robert Campbell Jnr’s portrait shows the public persona of his friend Alfie Drew, who played ‘winger’ for the all-Aboriginal team, the Woolbrook Hawks, in the 1930s. In the lower half of the painting are the personal totems that identify the spiritual persona of the portrait’s subject. A self-taught artist, and member of the Ngaku clan, Campbell was educated at Burnt Bridge Aboriginal Mission and spent his childhood in the Kempsey region. Campbell was amongst the first so-called 'urban' Aboriginal artists to travel to remote areas in the Top End of the Northern Territory, forging links with artists from the Arnhem Land communities.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra