Skip to main content

Coming to visit? Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage your visit so please book ahead. Need to cancel or rejig? Email bookings@npg.gov.au

Menu

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.

Tracey Moffatt filming early land rights march

c. 1980
Elaine Pelot-Syron

gelatin silver photograph on paper (sheet: 20.0 cm x 25.1 cm, image: 14.7 cm x 19.8 cm)

Tracey Moffatt AO (b. 1960) is an artist whose work reflects on issues including race, childhood trauma, gender and popular culture. Born in Brisbane, she graduated from the Queensland College of Art in 1982. After moving to Sydney, Moffatt was one of the co-founders of the Boomalli Aboriginal Artists Co-operative, and worked with Anthony (Ace) Bourke to curate NADOC '86 exhibition of Aboriginal and Islander photographers. In 1987 she made her first short film, Nice Coloured Girls. Moffatt became widely known through her celebrated first solo exhibition, Something More (1989). In 1990 her short film Night Cries – A Rural Tragedy (1989) was selected for official competition at the Cannes Film Festival, as was her first feature-length film, Bedevil, in 1993. Following the photographic series Scarred for Life (1994) she was invited to exhibit in the Venice Biennale in 1997, and during that year held solo exhibitions in Germany, Denmark, France and the USA. Since then, she has built an international reputation with a body of films and photographic series such as Laudanum (1998), Invocations (2000), Under the Sign of Scorpio (2005), First Jobs (2008) and Spirit Landscapes (2013). In 2007 she received the Infinity Award from New York's International Center of Photography; in 2012 she had a solo show at the city’s Museum of Modern Art. She became the first Aboriginal artist to present a solo exhibition, My Horizon, at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. Moffatt's work is represented in all major Australian galleries.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2011
© Elaine Pelot-Syron/Copyright Agency, 2021

Artist and subject

Elaine Pelot-Syron (age 35 in 1980)

Tracey Moffatt AO (age 20 in 1980)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

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.

Self-portrait, 1999
Self-portrait, 1999
Self-portrait, 1999
Self-portrait, 1999

A self-portrait in focus

Magazine article by Kim Appleby, 2002

In her self-portrait, Tracey Moffatt presents herself as her work.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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