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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.

Unplanned arrival leads to blissful adoration

You are what is most beautiful about me reflects ‘the profound in-loveness all mothers have for their children’.

Del Kathryn Barton – who won her first Archibald prize in 2008 for this portrait, celebrating the fierce love she has for her children – was herself an adored daughter. Growing up in the bush outside Sydney, Barton suffered sensory disorders and debilitating anxiety. As solace, her mother encouraged her to draw, something she has pursued obsessively ever since. Barton didn’t consider herself maternal, but due to an unplanned pregnancy was ‘catapulted into a wonderful, new universe and like every mother I was dizzyingly in love with my child’. As the artist explained, the work’s title is reference to ‘the profound “in-loveness” all mothers have for their children … My son Kell, and daughter, Arella, are my eternal joy and love … always inspiring and challenging me in the deepest and most vital way’.

That’s one to get your heart started! You are 9 stories away from seeing your love score...

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency