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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.

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize

Daily from Saturday 31 July until Sunday 7 November 2021

Main image: Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley. Courtesy of the artist. © The artist

Bookings essential

$15 / $12 Concession / $10 Circle of Friends / Under 18s free
Book online and receive 10% off! Also please note we cannot accept cash payments at the Gallery.

Check our latest conditions of entry related to COVID-19.

The Living Memory National Photographic Portrait Prize 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. This edition of the prize incorporates a year like no other: 2020. Accordingly, the title - Living Memory - acknowledges the period's seismic events. The winner for 2021 is

Drought Story by Joel B. Pratley

The Highly Commended Award goes to Julian Kingma for Tom at the Drain.

The Distinction Awards go to R.J Poole for Great conjunction and Jessica Hromas for Mark and Saskia cool off. The Distinction Awards are a new, specially tailored mentorship prize designed to continue the National Portrait Gallery’s commitment to developing and nurturing Australian portrait photography.

For the 2021 Prize, judges Bill Henson (guest judge, Photographer), Nick Mitzevich (guest judge, Director, National Gallery of Australia), and Karen Quinlan (Director, National Portrait Gallery) selected 79 portraits from over 3000 entries. We thank everyone who submitted photographs for the Prize.

Vote for your favourite in the People's Choice Award!

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Access information

This program is wheelchair accessible.

Other ways to book: Phone 02 6102 7070 or email bookings@npg.gov.au

Companion Card bookings automatically include a second ticket for your companion.

79 finalists

1 Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley. Courtesy of the artist. © The artist. 2 Tom at the drain, 2020 Julian Kingma. Courtesy of the artist. © The artist. 3 Great conjunction, 2020 R J Poole. Courtesy of the artist. © The artist. 4 Mark and Saskia cool off, 2021 Jessica Hromas. Courtesy of the artist. © The artist.
Living Memory sponsors

Related information

The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020

Previous exhibition, 2020

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.

Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix
Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix
Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix
Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix

Living Memory Tours

National Photographic Portrait Prize

2:30pm, Daily

Join us in the Gallery to as we share the stories behind the photographs, and explore how the artists have captured a year like no other.

New Year's Eve 2019 Allison Marion
New Year's Eve 2019 Allison Marion
New Year's Eve 2019 Allison Marion
New Year's Eve 2019 Allison Marion

Panel discussion

Living Memory

2:00pm, Sat 31 Jul

Join us in the gallery or online for a dynamic panel discussion that interrogates some of the themes revealed in Living Memory.

© 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