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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.

Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party), 1983

Bleddyn Butcher

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 40.2 cm x 50.5 cm, image: 26.2 cm x 39.7 cm)
Nick Cave and Rowland S. Howard (of The Birthday Party)

Rowland S. Howard (1959-2009), singer and songwriter, joined The Boys Next Door in 1979, two years after the band had been put together by schoolfriends Nick Cave and Mick Harvey. Cave, Harvey and Howard continued to play together as The Birthday Party until 1983. (In 1982, as the Tuff Monks, Cave, Harvey and Howard released an album with the Go-Betweens.) Remaining in the UK, Howard then took his own significant direction with Crime and the City Solution and These Immortal Souls, although Harvey played drums for Crime as well as for the Bad Seeds, and Howard played as a session musician on several Bad Seeds albums. Howard has collaborated with several high-profile artists and musicians, including the subversive American feminist performer Lydia Lunch. His first 'solo' album, Teenage Snuff Film (which also features Harvey), was released in 2000. Bleddyn Butcher was born in London and came to Australia when he was six. In 1980 he returned to London where he first heard The Birthday Party and met Nick Cave. A self-trained photographer, Butcher was on the staff of New Musical Express throughout the eighties, his interests in the music industry and friendships with fellow expatriate musicians providing the impetus for much of his work. He is well known for his photographs of Nick Cave and Dave Graney and has taken publicity images and album covers for bands including U2, The Triffids and The Go Betweens. Over many years Butcher's work has appeared in Melody Maker, Vox, Mojo, Rolling Stone and Vogue and he has edited and designed the Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds fan magazine. His books include Save What You Can: The Day of The Triffids, a biography of David McComb; and A Little History: Nick Cave and cohorts 1981-2013.

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

Accession number: 2002.31

Currently on display: Gallery Two (Contemporary Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Bleddyn Butcher (age 30 in 1983)

Nick Cave AO (age 26 in 1983)

Roland S. Howard

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.

Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes
Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes
Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes
Interview with Marc de Jong  video: 2 minutes

Nick Cave by Howard Arkley

Portrait story

An interview with graffiti artist Marc de Jong about the art of Howard Arkley.

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.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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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.