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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.

David McComb (of The Triffids), 1987

Bleddyn Butcher

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 50.5 cm x 40.2 cm, image: 30.7 cm x 30.5 cm)
David McComb (of The Triffids)

David McComb (1962-1999) was the songwriter and frontman for The Triffids, who remain one of Australia's best-loved post-punk bands. The Triffids formed from the remnants of other Perth groups in 1978. Following the lead of bands such as The Saints, The Birthday Party and The Go-Betweens, they left Australia in the early 1980s to live in the UK, where they had already formed a cult following. They performed and recorded in Australia and England until they split in 1989, when McComb formed a studio band, The Red Ponies, with Martyn Casey from The Bad Seeds. The rock critic Ian McFarlane has said that few songwriters have managed to capture the feeling of isolation and fatalistic sense of the Australian countryside better than McComb. McComb's health was poor for many years, and he died following a minor car accident at the age of 37.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002
© Bleddyn Butcher
Bleddyn@Tenderprey.com

Accession number: 2002.30

Currently on display: Gallery Three (Robert Oatley Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Bleddyn Butcher (age 34 in 1987)

David McComb (age 25 in 1987)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Bleddyn Butcher (5 portraits)

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.

Dave Graney and Clare Moore video: 2 minutes 41 seconds
Dave Graney and Clare Moore video: 2 minutes 41 seconds
Dave Graney and Clare Moore video: 2 minutes 41 seconds
Dave Graney and Clare Moore video: 2 minutes 41 seconds

Dave Graney and Clare Moore

'Why would you want to listen to pub rock?'

Portrait story

Dave Graney and Clare Moore discuss music, photography and bandoleros of meat.

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.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

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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.