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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.

How do I address the theme in my portrait?

The theme of identity and the questions we suggest are prompts for you to think about before you create your portrait. You can interpret the theme any way you wish.

How do I choose the subject of my portrait?

A portrait is of a real person or people. Choose someone you would like to represent, and who you think expresses something about Australian identity. You could ask them to do a couple of ‘sittings’ (when someone poses for their portrait while you create the work) or you could work from a photograph.

How do I know which age group I fit into?

Your age as at 1 March 2021 determines your age group.

For example:

  • If you turn 12 on 1 March 2021, you will be in the 12-15 years category.
  • If you turn 8 on 28 February 2021, you will be in the 8-11 years category.
  • If you turn 8 on 2 March 2021, you will still be in the 5-7 years category.
  • If you turn 19 on 2 March 2021, you are still eligible to enter the competition in the 16-18 years category.

How many times can I enter?

You can create as many portraits as you wish, but your teacher/carer can only submit one portrait per student.

How many portraits can a school send digitally to the National Portrait Gallery?

  • A school may send a total of five portraits per age category for judging.
  • If you are home schooled, your parent/carer may submit one portrait per student.

How does our school select which portraits to send to the National Portrait Gallery for judging?

It’s up to each school how they choose to make the selection of portraits for judging at the National Portrait Gallery.

For example, your school could have an exhibition of all entries and appoint judges to make the selection of which portraits can be submitted. We ask that the school use the title ‘Little Darlings Youth Portrait Prize’ and acknowledges the National Portrait Gallery in any displays or events related to the prize.

Or, your teachers can select which portraits will be submitted to the National Portrait Gallery. Maybe the school could appoint a committee of students to help with judging?

Why does the portrait have to be less than 1kg, and 48 x 63 x 1cm (thickness)?

This is to ensure that, in the event a work is selected as a winner, it can be posted, framed and exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery.

Can I submit a photographic portrait?

Yes. The National Portrait Gallery has a wonderful collection of photographic portraits. You can see these online on our website for inspiration.

Why do I need to complete a subject consent form?

When you create a portrait of a living person it is important that they give permission to be on display, or if they are under 18 that their parents give permission.

Why are the portraits submitted digitally for judging?

This allows the National Portrait Gallery to receive a large number of artworks and to view them all together in each age category. The National Portrait Gallery has a number of portraiture competitions. You can look up the Darling Portrait Prize or the National Photographic Portrait Prize online. Both these competitions ask artists to submit the portraits digitally in the first instance.

What happens if my portrait is selected as a winner?

The National Portrait Gallery will select 12 winning entries, with this selection made up of entries from each of the age categories. If you are a winner, you and your teacher will be notified and details about posting the original artwork to the Gallery will be provided.

When your winning artwork arrives at the Gallery, our expert staff will prepare and frame your work for exhibition.

Anything else?

If you have further questions please contact Jane Duong – bookings@npg.gov.au or call her on 02 6102 7070.

Above all, have fun creating your portraits!

Related information

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

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency