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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.

Andy Thomas, 2002

Montalbetti & Campbell

inkjet print on paper (frame: 142.7 cm x 112.6 cm, sight: 138.5 cm x 108.2 cm)

Andy Thomas AO (b. 1951), astronaut, was born and educated in Adelaide and joined NASA in 1992 having managed a number of aeronautical projects. He made his first space flight in 1996 and in 1998 boarded the Endeavour space shuttle to work at the Mir space station. In 2001 he became the first Australian citizen to perform a space walk, riding the shuttle Discovery to affix components to the outside of the International Space Station. In 2005 he flew on the STS114 Discovery mission, undertaking new methods to inspect the orbiter in flight and to verify its fitness for re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. In all, he has spent over 177 days in space, and counts the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and the Yuri Gagarin Medal among his many honours.

Canadian-born Denis Montalbetti and Gay Campbell have created striking, often elaborately staged photographs for publications such as Inside Sport and HQ. They researched Thomas’s career and his appearance before conceiving this highly-coloured heroic image, in which the sitter is posed against a background representing the earth viewed from space.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned with funds provided by L Gordon Darling AC CMG 2002
© Montalbetti & Campbell

Accession number: 2002.32

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Montalbetti & Campbell

Andy Thomas AO (age 51 in 2002)

Subject professions

Science and technology

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 Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes
Interview with Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes
Interview with Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes
Interview with Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes

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A new painting by Jiawei Shen captures the vision and resolve of the Gallery's founder, L. Gordon Darling AC CMG.

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Magazine article by Andrew Sayers AM, 2003

This edited version of a speech by Andrew Sayers examines some of the antecedents of the National Portrait Gallery and set out the ideas behind the modern Gallery and its collection.

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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.