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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.

Express Yourself

Daily from Saturday 24 March 2018 until Sunday 2 September 2018
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole

This exhibition celebrates Australians whose unique life experiences symbolise social and cultural forces. Uncompromising individuality defines them. The portraits are drawn from the National Portrait Gallery’s collection of contemporary photography and drawing.

The portraits attest to the facility of photographic portraiture to convey compelling psychological depth.

The exhibition features a newly-commissioned portrait of Rosie Batty by photographer Nikki Toole. Because of her traumatic personal experience, Rosie is recognised as a spokesperson for combatting domestic violence. Rosie Batty was Australian of the Year in 2015.

Please note that the exhibition includes photographs of Indigenous Australians who are now deceased.

31 portraits

1Leigh Bowery in Fur Coat, c. 1983 (printed 2005) David Gwinnutt. 2Jeff Fenech and trainer, John Lewis, 1986 Graham McCarter. 3Marcia Langton, 2013 Juno Gemes. 4Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis. 5Ben Mendelsohn, 2001 (printed 2014) Ingvar Kenne. 6Barrie Kosky, Sydney Opera House, c. 1997 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane.

Related people

Dr Christopher Chapman (curator)

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


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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.