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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.

Harriet Schwarzrock Harriet Schwarzrock

spaces between movement and stillness, 2021 Harriet Schwarzrock. Courtesy of the artist

Harriet Schwarzrock

spaces between movement and stillness

Previous exhibition
from Saturday 13 February until Sunday 4 July 2021

‘The heart is often regarded as our emotional centre. Working with this form allows me to contemplate many aspects of being.’

Harriet Schwarzrock’s new work explores notions of emotional processes and their physical manifestations. ‘From the subtle yet essential electricity within our bodies, I am fascinated by this interplay between the invisible and the visible, between our extraordinary similarities and differences.’

In spaces between movement and stillness, the artist has embraced science and experimentation to create visual wonders: glass, inert gases, and electricity combine into an array of organic forms, producing a captivating field of colour and movement. ‘Sometimes they have a warm glow, much like an aurora contained in a bottle; in others there are lightning-like lines meandering around the form. Although the gases are invisible, when excited by electricity they reveal subtle effects and differences.’

Gasses crackling and glowing
Video: 11 minutes

The creation draws reflections on the role of the human heart as our central, exquisitely responsive ‘engine’. When we’re relaxed, the heart beats at a slow and steady rhythm; when excitement takes hold – for example, in the first throes of true love – the cadence might crank with the beat of a wilful, wild machine. Luminous alone, the myriad tones and permutations of spaces between movement and stillness also echo the boundless forms of love in our autumn-winter exhibition, Australian Love Stories.

Working with glass
Video: 5 minutes
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Access information

This program is wheelchair accessible.

Related information

Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (detail), 2006 (printed 2020) © Peter Brew-Bevan
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (detail), 2006 (printed 2020) © Peter Brew-Bevan
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (detail), 2006 (printed 2020) © Peter Brew-Bevan
Rachel Ward and Bryan Brown (detail), 2006 (printed 2020) © Peter Brew-Bevan

Australian Love stories

Family, friends, fanatics and foes (and everything in between!)

Current exhibition

from Saturday 20 March

Reconnect and reflect with our new major exhibition, Australian Love Stories (in real life!) as we explore love, affection and connection in all its guises.

Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019
Collection display in Gallery Five, 2019

Collection display galleries

Current exhibition

Open every day

The collection display includes a wide selection of portraits that tell extraordinary stories of encounter, exploration, independence, individuality and achievement in Australia.

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize

Current exhibition

from Saturday 31 July

The 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.

© 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