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ON DISPLAY

Untitled #88 from Tour of Duty series (Captain Brad Kilpatrick and Kylie Minogue , Balibo, East Timor, 20 December 1999)

by Matthew Sleeth

type C photograph (frame: 123.0 x 123.0 cm, image: 99.0 x 99.0 cm)

Kylie Minogue OBE (b. 1968), entertainment megastar, rose to local and international fame playing Charlene in the television soap Neighbours. Twenty-five years later, she ranks as one of the most popular solo female performers of all time. Her singing career began with a cover version of the 1960s song ‘The Loco-Motion’. She signed a contract with the English hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman in 1987 and made history by achieving more than 20 consecutive top ten hits in the UK. With a sound instinct for re-invention, she has since been involved in some daring collaborations with artists including Nick Cave, Robbie Williams, Towa Tei and the Hurts. Apart from Madonna, Minogue is the only performer to have achieved UK number one hits in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005, she became a prominent survivor of the scourge, her ordeal inspiring hope in many other women; she completed her cancelled Showgirl tour in 2006. Aphrodite (2010), her eleventh album, gave rise to the astounding touring spectacle Aphrodite: Les folies. Her fourteenth, Golden (2018) - timed to coincide with her fiftieth birthday - reached number 1 on both the Australian and UK charts.

Kylie Minogue OBE (b. 1968), entertainer, became a star in Australia and the UK playing Charlene in the television soap Neighbours in the 1980s. In 1987 she became the youngest performer to win a Logie for Most Popular Actress. Her singing career began with a cover version of the 1960s song ‘The Loco-Motion’. She signed a contract with the English hitmakers Stock Aitken Waterman in 1987 and made history by achieving more than twenty consecutive top-ten hits in the UK. A move to hip English dance music label, de-construction, in 1992 coincided with a more sophisticated sound and image. With a remarkable facility for re-invention, she has been involved in unexpected collaborations, such as with Nick Cave on the ARIA-award winning ‘Where the Wild Roses Grow’ in 1995, and has appeared in several films including Moulin Rouge (2001) and the baffling, critically-acclaimed Holy Motors (2012). After a triumphant appearance at the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, at which she sang ‘On a Night Like This’, in 2002 Minogue won four ARIA awards for the album Fever (2001) containing her aptly-named biggest hit, ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. In 2005, when she had been scheduled to tour Australia in the extravagant Showgirl production, Minogue underwent surgery for breast cancer. She resumed the tour late in 2006, and released a new album, X, in 2007. A statue of Minogue was unveiled in Melbourne in late 2007, just before the announcement, in London, of her OBE for services to music; in 2008 she was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in Paris. Her eleventh studio album Aphrodite (2010) marked a sensational ‘comeback’, producing her 33rd top-ten single in the UK and giving rise to the astounding touring spectacle Aphrodite: Les folies. Her fourteenth, Golden (2018) - timed to coincide with her fiftieth birthday - reached number 1 on both the Australian and UK charts.

In 1999 Kylie Minogue went to Timor to perform in ‘Tour of Duty: Concert for the Troops’, a concert in the tradition of the United Service Organisations shows that featured stars such as Bob Hope and Marilyn Monroe. Visual artist, Matthew Sleeth (b. 1972) photographed Kylie as she posed with Australian peacekeeping personnel, but the soldier behind her here, Captain Brad Kilpatrick, deployed to East Timor as the Second in Command of B Squadron 3/4 Cavalry Regiment with InterFET in 1999, happens to be her co-star from the 1980s Australian television show The Henderson Kids, in which Minogue played Charlotte ‘Char’ Kernow and Kilpatrick played Brian ‘Brains’ Buchanan.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of Patrick Corrigan AM
Donated through the Australian Governements' Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2010.169