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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.

Judy Davis, 1981

William Yang

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 48.3 cm x 39.3 cm, image: 40.3 cm x 27.5 cm)

Judy Davis (b.1959), actor, launched her own international career with her performance as Sybylla in Gillian Armstrong's My Brilliant Career (1979). Her subsequent Australian films have included Heatwave (1981), Winter of Our Dreams (1981), Kangaroo (1986), Children of the Revolution (1996) and The Man Who Sued God (2001). Renowned for playing complex and edgy women, Davis has won many acting accolades and awards, including both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her television performance as Judy Garland in 2001. In Hollywood, she has played major film roles in Barton Fink (1991), Naked Lunch (1992) and The Ref (1994); she is a favourite of Woody Allen, for whom she appeared in Husbands and Wives (1992) Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Celebrity (1998). Davis made her directorial debut for the Sydney Theatre Company with Barrymore (1999) and has since directed School for Scandal (2001).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1998
© William Yang

Accession number: 1998.14

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

William Yang (age 38 in 1981)

Judy Davis (age 22 in 1981)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes
Interview with William Yang video: 2 minutes

Patrick White by William Yang

Portrait story

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker
In the mirror: self portrait with Joy Hester, 1939 Albert Tucker

Depth of Field

Portrait Photography from the Collection

Previous exhibition, 2004

Over the last five years the National Portrait Gallery has developed a collection of portrait photographs that reflects both the strength and diversity of Australian achievement as well as the talents of our photographers.

Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang
Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang
Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang
Self Portrait #1, 1992 by William Yang

William Yang

Australian Chinese

Previous exhibition, 2001

William Yang's art is about the telling of stories, his work is an intriguing mixture of philosophy, autobiography, social history and documentary imbued with a sense of the artist's own curiosity, humanity and humour

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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.