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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.

Art Handlers' Award

The winner of our Art Handlers' Award receives $1000 and free return transport for their photograph, courtesy of International Art Services.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 Art Handlers' Award
Video: 15 seconds

Tara James and Amelia Mollett are the National Portrait Gallery's resident Art Handlers.  Together, 'Tamelia' as they are affectionately known, are responsible for the safe movement of every portrait in the Gallery's collection along with installation, display and assisting with touring exhibitions.  They have worked on the National Photographic Portrait Prize for many years and always enjoy inspecting the finalists' portraits as they arrive.

This year, thanks to the support of our friends at International Art Services, we are awarding an Art Handlers' Award of $1000 and free return transport for the artwork to the portrait that Tara and Amelia find the most striking.

But first they had to narrow it down to just one...

And the winner is: On Albatross Island, 2015 by Matthew Newton

“We were drawn to the mimicry of the human/bird body shapes & the repeated patterns of limbs echoing wings & the crouched protectiveness of both bodies. Also the profile repetition of both bowed heads highlighted by a moody skyline & the natural texture of the rocks. We loved the subtle reference to our changing awareness of environmental issues & interconnectedness of humans, animal & nature."

Video transcript

Show full transcript

2 portraits

1On Albatross Island, 2015 by Matthew Newton. 2'Tamelia' by Tony Curran.

Related information

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker
Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker
Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker
Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016

Previous exhibition, 2016

The National Photographic Portrait Prize 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.

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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.