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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

Previous exhibition from Saturday 24 March 2018 until Sunday 2 September 2018
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole. © 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. © David Gwinnutt. 2Jeff Fenech and trainer, John Lewis, 1986 Graham McCarter. © Graham McCarter. 3Marcia Langton, 2013 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020. 4Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis. © John Tsiavis. 5Ben Mendelsohn, 2001 (printed 2014) Ingvar Kenne. © Ingvar Kenne. 6Barrie Kosky, Sydney Opera House, c. 1997 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane. © Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2020.

Related people

Dr Christopher Chapman (curator)

Related information

Hosting a touring exhibition

National Portrait Gallery touring exhibitions

Information for galleries who would like to host an NPG exhibition.

Jim Conway, 2006 Greg Warburton
Jim Conway, 2006 Greg Warburton
Jim Conway, 2006 Greg Warburton
Jim Conway, 2006 Greg Warburton

Selfhood transcended

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders and Dr Christopher Chapman, 2018

Anne Sanders and Christopher Chapman bring passionate characterisation to Express Yourself, the Portrait Gallery collection exhibition celebrating iconoclastic Australians.

Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso
Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso

Shop Talk

Magazine article by Stephen Phillips, 2016

Angus and the arbiters talk (photo) shop for the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Layne Beachley, 2008 Petrina Hicks
Layne Beachley, 2008 Petrina Hicks
Layne Beachley, 2008 Petrina Hicks
Layne Beachley, 2008 Petrina Hicks

Collection: Icons

Volume One

Previous exhibition, 2018

When a portrait communicates determination and individuality as boldly as these do, it has the potential to become an iconic image. For the Gallery’s 20th birthday this display brings together a group contemporary photographic portraits of inspiring women and men.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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.