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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 Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Dorothy Porter

2001-2002
Rick Amor

oil on canvas (frame: 39.5 cm x 34.5 cm, support: 35.5 cm x 30.5 cm)

Dorothy Porter (1954–2008) published her first book of poetry, Little Hoodlum, in 1975 when she was 21; subsequent volumes included Bison (1979) and Driving too Fast (1989). Akhenaten, the first of the 'verse novels' for which Porter was renowned, was published in 1992. The following year, she moved to Melbourne to live with the novelist Andrea Goldsmith, who was her partner for the rest of her life. The Monkey's Mask (1994) won several awards and was made into a film starring Kelly McGillis and Susie Porter. What a Piece of Work (1999) and Wild Surmise (2002) were both shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. Porter's last verse novel was El Dorado (2007). The Bee Hut was published posthumously in 2009, as was Love Poems (2010), selected by Goldsmith.

Rick Amor first saw Porter on television. Intrigued that she didn't smile, he made a drawing of her. Soon after, he asked if she would like to sit to him. His austere painting, showing Porter uncharacteristically quiet and still, is a tiny one that forces the viewer to come in close. She and Goldsmith agreed that the portraitist had made her look older than she was. It was some time before the painting came to seem, to Goldsmith, to show her partner as she might have looked, had she not died.


Gift of Andrea Goldsmith 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program.
© Rick Amor/Copyright Agency, 2022

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

Rick Amor (age 53 in 2001)

Dorothy Porter (age 47 in 2001)

Donated by

Andrea Goldsmith (1 portrait)

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.

David Malouf

'The person who is the writer'

Portrait story

Australian author David Malouf discusses the creation of his portrait by artist Rick Amor.

Shane Maloney and Rick Amor

'Big canvas, small head'

Portrait story

Artist Rick Amor and author Shane Maloney relate divergent experiences of the creation of Shane's portrait.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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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.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency