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Parliament House

Touring exhibition
Lee Lin Chin, 2004 George Fetting
Lee Lin Chin, 2004 George Fetting

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.

In ancient Greece an eik┼Źn was a likeness of an exemplar, someone whose labours and deeds inspired our own striving. Later, medieval icon paintings depicted saints and deities.

Two-thirds of the Gallery’s 2,600 portraits are photographs. Since its invention by French scientist Nicéphore Niépce two centuries ago, photography has become the dominant portrait medium of our time.

12 portraits

1Louise Sauvage, 1996 (printed 1999) Montalbetti+Campbell. 2Ian Thorpe, 2002 James Houston. 3Cathy Freeman, 2000 David Caird. 4Layne Beachley, 2008 Petrina Hicks. 5Oodgeroo of the Noonuccal Tribe, 1992 (printed 2009) George Fetting. 6Dan Sultan, 2011 Martin Philbey.

Related people

Dr Christopher Chapman (curator)

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal people, the traditional custodians of the land upon which the NPG stands.