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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.

Jon (Jon Muir), 2008

Ian Darling AO

inkjet print on paper (frame: 120.2 cm x 143.3 cm depth 4.5 cm, image: 100.0 cm x 125.0 cm)

Jon Muir OAM (b. 1961) is an adventurer and sustainability advocate. Raised in Wollongong, he started climbing full-time as a teenager. Since then, he has gained pioneering solo records in climbing the south side of Mount Everest and traversing the Kedarnarth Peaks, and has travelled alone to the South and North Poles without huskies or mechanised vehicles. In 2000 he paddled a kayak for 52 days along the east coast of Cape York Peninsula, living off the natural environment. In 2001 he and his dog Seraphine began a journey from Port Augusta in South Australia to Burketown on the Queensland North Coast. It was his fourth attempt, and Seraphine’s second. Dragging a sled, taking 128 days on foot and covering 2 500 kilometres, upon reaching Burketown Muir became the first person to complete a solo and unassisted walk across the Australian continent. Within a few days of starvation when he arrived, he recorded the events and experiences of the walk – including the death of Seraphine – on his video camera diary. This footage was made into the documentary Alone Across Australia (2003), directed by Muir and Ian Darling. In 2007 he trekked alone to the geographic centre of Australia, losing 30kg on the way. In 2011 he and his wife Suzan travelled 120 kilometres in 24 hours across Lake Eyre, South Australia.

Ian Darling AO is an eminent documentary filmmaker and a philanthropist. Darling spent eight years making the film Suzy and the Simple Man (2016) with Jon and Suzan Muir. This photograph was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2009.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2010

Accession number: 2010.70

Currently not on display

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National Photographic Portrait Prize 2009 Finalist

Artist and subject

Ian Darling AO (age 46 in 2008)

Jon Muir (age 47 in 2008)

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.

Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO
Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO
Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO
Jon (Jon Muir), 2008 Ian Darling AO

Roam alone

About Face article

4 May 2020

Jon Muir, adventurer and Portrait Gallery Collection subject, really knows about isolation.

Jon Muir and Ian Darling video: 6 minutes
Jon Muir and Ian Darling video: 6 minutes
Jon Muir and Ian Darling video: 6 minutes
Jon Muir and Ian Darling video: 6 minutes

Jon Muir and Ian Darling

'My favourite place to be'

Portrait story

Filmmaker Ian Darling talks with adventurer Jon Muir about crossing the vast salt lakes of central Australia.

Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott
Bryan Brown, 2008 Adam Knott

The Look

Previous exhibition, 2019

Featuring striking photographic portraits of contemporary figures from the National Portrait Gallery collection, The Look is an aesthetic treat with a lashing of je ne sais quoi.

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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.