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Sammie Alfie Drew, local Macleay Aboriginal sporting identity Theme: At Ease

Artist: Robert CAMPBELL (JNR)
Birth/Death: 1944–1993

Title: Sammie Alfie Drew, local Macleay Aboriginal sporting identity

Credit Line: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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.

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