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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.

My friend Siu’s dear mother, Mrs Chan, 2014

by Rod McNicol

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 Finalist

Oi Chan was born into a poor rural family in China. As a daughter, her arrival was met with much disapproval. Her mother told her they considered killing her, but her father thought she was so sweet they couldn’t go through with it. She was allowed to live but never felt she had the right to a life of her own. Oi started working aged five and went on to become a valued member of her village. Migrating to Australia in the 1970s, Oi raised a vibrant family here. She still only speaks a little English, but what a survivor!

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

Other NPPP photos from Rod McNicol

Jack Charles, 2011 Rod McNicol
NPPP 2012 Winner
'Red Terra' - Black Activist: A portrait of Gary Foley, 2006 by Rod McNicol
NPPP 2007 Finalist
Gurkirat, 2009 by Rod McNicol
NPPP 2010 Finalist
Self-portrait, 2015 by Rod McNicol
NPPP 2016 Finalist

Related information

Life and Times: Portraits by Rod McNicol video: 3 minutes
Life and Times: Portraits by Rod McNicol video: 3 minutes
Life and Times: Portraits by Rod McNicol video: 3 minutes
Life and Times: Portraits by Rod McNicol video: 3 minutes

Rod McNicol

'Life and Times'

Portrait story

Echoing 19th-century photography, Rod McNicol's portraits give us a chance to look quietly at the human condition.

Tariro, 2010 by Rod McNicol
Tariro, 2010 by Rod McNicol
Tariro, 2010 by Rod McNicol
Tariro, 2010 by Rod McNicol

Village people

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2015

Christopher Chapman discusses Rod McNicol's photographic portrait series Newcomers to my village.

Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol
Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol
Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol
Maryan, 2010 by Rod McNicol

Life and time

Portraits by Rod McNicol

Previous exhibition, 2015

Australian photographer Rod McNicol has consistently analysed the passing of time through the evidence of the photographic portrait. At once confronting and tender, McNicol’s portrait photographs are bold and intimate. 

Portrait of Ali, 2014 by Hoda Afshar
Portrait of Ali, 2014 by Hoda Afshar
Portrait of Ali, 2014 by Hoda Afshar
Portrait of Ali, 2014 by Hoda Afshar

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015

Previous exhibition, 2015

The 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.

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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.