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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Cancelled: National Photographic Portrait Prize Forum

Saturday 14 March

On the advice of health professionals recommending restrictions on large gatherings of people we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this event.

Join for us a discussion about this year’s NPPP 2020 exhibition and exploring powerful storytelling in photographic portraiture. Penny Grist, NPG Curator and NPPP judge, chairs a panel including fellow NPPP 2020 judge Nici Cumpston and NPPP Project Coordinator Tara James.

Penny Grist

Penelope Grist holds a Master of Liberal Arts (Museums and Collections) from the Australian National University and honours degrees in Law and Art History (University of Sydney). She has worked at the National Library of Australia and National Museum of Australia and is currently a curator at the National Portrait Gallery. Penelope has previously served on the Board of Megalo Print Studio and Gallery and was elected to the board of PhotoAccess and as a member of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association National Council in 2019.

Nici Cumpston

Nici Cumpston is Curator of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia and Artistic Director of Tarnanthi. Nici’s gentle, quietly spoken demeanour belies a fierce and resolute passion for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the development and recognition of their artistic practice.  Born in Adelaide in 1963, she is a proud Barkandji person, who is also of Afghan, English and Irish heritage. 

Nici is simultaneously an artist, a curator, a writer, an educator and a builder of relationships. Having studied fine arts, specialising in Photography at the University of South Australia, Nici has worked on Kaurna land for over thirty years, as a photographic lecturer at Tauondi Aboriginal Community College, Port Adelaide, as well as at the University of South Australia. She wrote and delivered the inaugural course Indigenous Art, Culture and Design to the South Australian School of Art students before commencing as the first Indigenous Curator at the Art Gallery of South Australia in 2008. She is currently Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art as well as Artistic Director of Tarnanthi: Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia.  

Nici has also been exhibiting her works of art since 1998 and in that time has been invited to participate in many prestigious awards, commissions, group and solo exhibitions. Her work is held in many public and private collections in Australia as well as internationally.

Related information

The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020

Current exhibition

from Friday 6 March

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Quickly, before it's gone, 2019 Elizabeth Looker
Quickly, before it's gone, 2019 Elizabeth Looker
Quickly, before it's gone, 2019 Elizabeth Looker
Quickly, before it's gone, 2019 Elizabeth Looker

National Portrait Prizes highlights tour

Tue 23 Jun until Sun 26 Jul
11:15am; 2:15pm

Take a 30 minute tour of the exhibition.

Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva
Elizabeth, 2019 Anthea da Silva

Darling Portrait Prize

Current exhibition

from Friday 6 March

The Darling Prize is a new annual prize for Australian portrait painters, painting Australian sitters. The winner receives a cash prize of $75,000.

The National Portrait Prizes

Current exhibition

from Friday 6 March

Experience the very best new portrait paintings and photographs from across Australia.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.