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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

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.

More information on Express Yourself

Selected images

Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole
Rosie Batty, 2017 Nikki Toole. © Nikki Toole
Leigh Bowery in Fur Coat, c. 1983  (printed 2005) David Gwinnutt
Leigh Bowery in Fur Coat, c. 1983 (printed 2005) David Gwinnutt. © David Gwinnutt
Jeff Fenech and trainer, John Lewis, 1986 Graham McCarter
Jeff Fenech and trainer, John Lewis, 1986 Graham McCarter. © Graham McCarter
Marcia Langton, 2013 Juno Gemes
Marcia Langton, 2013 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis. © John Tsiavis
Ben Mendelsohn, 2001 (printed 2014) Ingvar Kenne
Ben Mendelsohn, 2001 (printed 2014) Ingvar Kenne. © Ingvar Kenne
Barrie Kosky, Sydney Opera House, c. 1997 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane
Barrie Kosky, Sydney Opera House, c. 1997 (printed 2017) Robert McFarlane. © Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2020
Michelle Garnaut, 2015 Dave Tacon
Michelle Garnaut, 2015 Dave Tacon. © Dave Tacon/Copyright Agency, 2020
Ginger Riley at the Limmen River, Northern Territory, 1992 (printed 2013) Helga Leunig
Ginger Riley at the Limmen River, Northern Territory, 1992 (printed 2013) Helga Leunig. © Helga Leunig
Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol
Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol. © Rod McNicol
Meredith Rogers, September 1978, 1978 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney
Meredith Rogers, September 1978, 1978 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney. © Estate of Robert Rooney
Jenny Watson 4, February 1979, 1979 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney
Jenny Watson 4, February 1979, 1979 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney. © Estate of Robert Rooney
Peter Booth 3, September 1978, 1978 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney
Peter Booth 3, September 1978, 1978 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney. © Estate of Robert Rooney
Robert Hunter, July 1978, 1978 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney
Robert Hunter, July 1978, 1978 (printed 2012) Robert Rooney. © Estate of Robert Rooney
Creature from the Black Platoon starring Gary Foley 2011 TextaQueen
Creature from the Black Platoon starring Gary Foley 2011 TextaQueen. © TextaQueen
Nam Le, 2010 Rozalind Drummond
Nam Le, 2010 Rozalind Drummond. © Rozalind Drummond
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba Stradbroke Island (her sitting down place)1982 Juno Gemes
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba Stradbroke Island (her sitting down place)1982 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba, 1982 Juno Gemes
Oodgeroo Noonuccal at Moongalba, 1982 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Jim Conway, 2006 Greg Warburton
Jim Conway, 2006 Greg Warburton. © Greg Warburton
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis
Christos Tsiolkas, 1998 (printed 2009) John Tsiavis. © John Tsiavis
After Ophelia: Fiona Foley at Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island (Referencing Ophelia by John Everett Millais), 1994 Juno Gemes
After Ophelia: Fiona Foley at Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island (Referencing Ophelia by John Everett Millais), 1994 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Dadang Christanto, 2005 Hari Ho
Dadang Christanto, 2005 Hari Ho. © Hari Ho/Copyright Agency, 2020
Study for a portrait of Alex Wodak, c. 2005 Nick Mourtzakis
Study for a portrait of Alex Wodak, c. 2005 Nick Mourtzakis. © Nick Mourtzakis
The Hon Gough Whitlam, Ossie Cruse and Michael Anderson, 1981 (printed 2003) Juno Gemes
The Hon Gough Whitlam, Ossie Cruse and Michael Anderson, 1981 (printed 2003) Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Patrick Johnson, c. 2000 Penny Tweedie
Patrick Johnson, c. 2000 Penny Tweedie. © Estate of Penny Tweedie
Kumantjayi Perkins at the Roma Forum, Brisbane, 1982 Juno Gemes
Kumantjayi Perkins at the Roma Forum, Brisbane, 1982 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Carol Ruff, 1998 Greg Weight
Carol Ruff, 1998 Greg Weight. © Gregory Weight/Copyright Agency, 2020
Marcia Langton, 1982 Juno Gemes
Marcia Langton, 1982 Juno Gemes. © Juno Gemes/Copyright Agency, 2020
Ursula Hoff, 1994 Francis Reiss
Ursula Hoff, 1994 Francis Reiss. © Estate of Francis Reiss
Robyn Archer, 1982 Robert McFarlane
Robyn Archer, 1982 Robert McFarlane. © Robert McFarlane/Copyright Agency, 2020
Portrait of Cate Blanchett, 2008 David Rosetzky
Portrait of Cate Blanchett, 2008 by David Rosetzky
Video: 9:56

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.