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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.

Paul Kelly

2007
Martin Philbey

type C photograph on paper (frame: 105.0 cm x 130.0 cm depth 2.0 cm)

Paul Kelly AO (b. 1955), singer, songwriter and producer, grew up in Adelaide and made his performing debut in Hobart in 1974. In Melbourne, he and his pub band The Dots made two albums before breaking up in 1982. He recorded Post in Sydney in 1985, but his major break came the following year, by which time his band was known as The Coloured Girls. Their double album Gossip was one of the biggest Australian records of the year. The band made Under the Sun (1987) before touring the US as Paul Kelly and the Messengers. They disbanded in 1991, and from that point Kelly branched into producing and acting as well as writing and performing. Kelly sings with a marked Australian accent and many of his songs refer to specific Australian people and places. Though he has written most of his long and poetic songlist alone, over the course of his nineteen albums has also collaborated brilliantly, particularly with indigenous performers such as Kev Carmody, Christine Anu and Yothu Yindi. His self-described 'mongrel memoir', How to Make Gravy, was released in 2010.

Kelly has written many songs about Melbourne, where Martin Philbey photographed him at Flinders Street Station.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2007 Finalist

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2008
© Martin Philbey

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Martin Philbey (age 45 in 2007)

Paul Kelly AO (age 52 in 2007)

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.

Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed
Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed
Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed
Paul Kelly 30.11.1980 by Liz Reed

Pop poet

Magazine article by Dr Anne Sanders, 2013

Dr Anne Sanders previews the works in the new focus exhibition Paul Kelly and The Portraits.

Paul Grabowsky
Paul Grabowsky
Paul Grabowsky
Paul Grabowsky

Feel the music

Magazine article by Dr Christopher Chapman, 2010

Dr Christopher Chapman discusses the portrait of Australian composer Paul Grabowsky by photographer Martin Philbey.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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