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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.

Gillian Armstrong, 1985

Stuart Campbell

gelatin silver photograph on paper (image: 20.3 cm x 13.4 cm)

Gillian Armstrong AM (b. 1950), film director, was born in Melbourne and studied theatre and film at Swinburne Technical College and then at the Australian Film and Television School in the early 1970s. After directing and writing several shorts and documentaries, she released a full-length 16mm film, The Singer and the Dancer, which she also co-produced and which won best narrative film at the 1976 Sydney Film Festival. The same year, she made Smokes and Lollies, the first instalment of what became a series of documentaries chronicling the lives of a group of three Australian women. In 1979, Armstrong directed her first feature, the critically- acclaimed adaptation of Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career. Produced by Margaret Fink and starring Judy Davis, the film won seven Australian Film Institute (AFI) awards, including Best Picture, and was nominated for an Academy Award. Having directed the musical Starstruck (1982) and a number of rock videos, Armstrong made her first American film, Mrs Soffel (1984) featuring Mel Gibson and Diane Keaton. After making further films in Australia, including the AFI award-winning High Tide (1987) and The Last Days of Chez Nous (1992), she returned to the USA to make Little Women (1995). Armstrong’s subsequent films include Oscar and Lucinda (1997) and Charlotte Gray (2001), both featuring Cate Blanchett; and Death Defying Acts (2007). Thrice-winner (in 1979, 1987 and 1992) of the AFI award for Best Director, Armstrong was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival for Unfolding Florence, a film about wallpaper designer, Florence Broadhurst. In 2010, Armstrong won the Australian Director’s Guild Award for Love, Lust and Lies, the fifth film in the series that started with Smokes and Lollies in 1976.

Stuart Campbell (1951–2009) studied at NIDA and during the 1970s and 1980s had some success as an actor in theatre, television and film. His friends from this sphere became his subjects when, from the early 1980s, he became increasingly involved in his work as a portrait photographer. Gillian Armstrong recalls, ‘Stuart had a great ability to relax people, so they could forget about the camera’, resluting in portraits of great sensitivity.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the Estate of Stuart Campbell 2012
© Estate of Stuart Campbell

Accession number: 2012.8

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Stuart Campbell (age 26 in 1985)

Gillian Armstrong AM (age 35 in 1985)

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.

Self Portrait, Stuart Campbell by Stuart Campbell
Self Portrait, Stuart Campbell by Stuart Campbell
Self Portrait, Stuart Campbell by Stuart Campbell
Self Portrait, Stuart Campbell by Stuart Campbell

The essence of you

Magazine article by Lee Tulloch, 2011

Lee Tulloch remembers her great friend NIDA-trained actor turned photographer Stuart Campbell.

Anne Lambert, actor by Stuart Campbell
Anne Lambert, actor by Stuart Campbell
Anne Lambert, actor by Stuart Campbell
Anne Lambert, actor by Stuart Campbell

Between Light and Shadow

Portraits by Stuart Campbell

Previous exhibition, 2011

The late Australian photographer Stuart Campbell produced superb photographs of Australian actors of stage and screen.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.