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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.

Kurt Fearnley

2012
Adam Knott

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 78.0 cm x 61.0 cm, image: 74.0 cm x 55.0 cm)

Kurt Fearnley AO (b. 1981), athlete, won four world titles, three Paralympic gold medals and over 40 marathons in a distinguished twenty-year career. Fearnley was born with a condition that had prevented the development of his spine, yet growing up in Carcoar, New South Wales, he enthusiastically participated in football and other sports alongside his brothers and schoolmates. He took up wheelchair racing at fourteen and was nineteen when he won silver medals in the 800 metres and the 4 x 100 metres relay at the Paralympic Games in Sydney. At the 2004 Athens Paralympics he won gold in the 5000 metres and the marathon, the final five kilometres of which he wheeled with a flat tyre. Between 2004 and 2014 he amassed four World Championship gold medals, one Commonwealth Games gold medal, and another Paralympic gold; plus three victories in the Chicago marathon, one in the London marathon and five in the New York marathon. In 2011 he crawled the Kokoda Track to raise money for mental health charities and was part of the crew that took line honours in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Fearnley captained the Australian team at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio and won his second Commonwealth marathon gold at the Gold Coast Games in 2018. An inspirational spokesperson on disability issues, Fearnley was named an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2018 and was the 2019 New South Wales Australian of the Year.

Purchased 2013
© Adam Knott

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

Adam Knott (age 46 in 2012)

Kurt Fearnley AO (age 31 in 2012)

Subject professions

Sports and recreation

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.

Layne Beachley
Layne Beachley
Layne Beachley
Layne Beachley

Collection: Icons

Volume One

Previous exhibition, 2018

When a portrait communicates determination and individuality as boldly as these do, it has the potential to become an iconic image. For the Gallery’s 20th birthday this display brings together a group contemporary photographic portraits of inspiring women and men.

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

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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.

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