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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.

Naomi Watts

2003
Peter Brew-Bevan

type C photograph on paper (sheet: 60.0 cm x 50.2 cm, image: 49.7 cm x 40.2 cm)

Naomi Watts (b. 1968), actor and producer, moved to Hollywood after a promising start to her career in Australian television series such as Brides of Christ (1991). There she suffered a well-documented period of failed auditions and regrettable films including Tank Girl and Children of the Corn IV. Her break came with a mesmerising performance in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive in 2001. After roles in The Ring (2002), Le Divorce (2003) and Ned Kelly (2003), she became the first actress to be nominated for a Golden Globe, a BAFTA award and an Academy Award in the same year, for 21 Grams (2003). She won the Golden Globe. King Kong (2005) was followed by a string of films including The Painted Veil (2006), The Impossible (2012), for which she received her second Academy Award nomination, Birdman (2014), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, While We're Young (2014) and Ophelia (2018). In 2020 she starred in and co-produced Penguin Bloom.

When Peter Brew-Bevan photographed Watts in 2003, she was sick with the flu. 'We sat and chatted, running through my main concept of reproducing a Victorian painting style portrait. I discovered that [she was] very, very visually aware, understanding my concept instantly and then discussing lighting choice … What I am happy about most with this portrait is that I captured not only her innate beauty but her fragility.'

Gift of the artist 2004
© Peter Brew-Bevan courtesy of Sue Southam Management

Artist and subject

Peter Brew-Bevan (age 34 in 2003)

Naomi Watts (age 35 in 2003)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

Peter Brew-Bevan (6 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.

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)
Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts

In Sync

Magazine article by Peter Brew-Bevan, 2004

Peter Brew-Bevan discusses two experiences where his plans for his portraits produced surprising results.

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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency