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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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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
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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.