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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.

Richard and Pat

Art, love, absurdity and exuberance

Richard Larter and Pat Holmes married in England in the early 1950s and emigrated to Sydney in 1962. To Richard, the local art scene ‘represented the worst trends seen in a pre-World War II backwards-looking Royal Academy’.

1Pat Painting No 1, 1983 Richard Larter. © Richard Larter/Copyright Agency, 2020. 2Self portrait with pin-up, 1965 Richard Larter. © Richard Larter/Copyright Agency, 2020. 3not titled [Pat and girl on phone], 1978 Richard Larter. National Gallery of Australia. © Richard Larter/Copyright Agency, 2020. 4not titled [Pat, bird and face], 1978 Richard Larter. National Gallery of Australia. © Richard Larter/Copyright Agency, 2020. 5Radio active coral earrings from Bikini Atoll, 1978 Richard Larter. National Gallery of Australia. © Richard Larter/Copyright Agency, 2020.

From about 1966 onwards, Pat Holmes and Richard Larter collaborated in a series of works that unashamedly and defiantly mocked conservatism and hypocrisy in their many forms – in particular the attitudes that deemed sexuality shameful and women’s bodies deserving of exploitation. Pat started as Richard’s model and muse but ended up becoming an artist in her own right. Collectively, their output – in painting, printmaking, performance, video, photography and recorded sound – documents what comes close to being Australian art’s most fruitful creative partnership. The National Gallery of Australia presented a retrospective of Richard’s output in 2008, with curator Deborah Hart referring to Pat and Richard’s union as ‘a remarkable artistic exchange and personal relationship ... that had been an unquestionably wild and passionate ride’ in the accompanying catalogue.

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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.