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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.

John Waters

2013
George Fetting

type C photograph on paper (frame: 74.0 cm x 109.0 cm depth 4.5 cm)

John Waters (b. 1948) sang with London band the Riots before moving to Australia at the age of twenty. In the 1960s and 1970s he performed in the hit musicals Hair, Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar. He made his debut in Play School in 1972 and appeared regularly until 1991. Meanwhile, between 1974 and 1976 he set hearts aflame as Sergeant McKellar in the ABC drama Rush. He was still on television more than forty years later, appearing in All Saints (2006–2009), Offspring (2010–2014), Rake (2016) and Mystery Road (2018). Other stage appearances include The Sound of Music (2000) and The Rocky Horror Show (2008). Since 1992 Waters has toured intermittently in the two-man John Lennon tribute stage show Lennon: Through a Glass Onion. The show was performed across Australia and ran for good seasons in London and New York in 2014–2015.

This portrait of Waters in his trademark black was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2014. George Fetting said at the time that, having left it until the last moment to enter, he raced out with Waters and photographed him against the door of disused public convenience in The Rocks; the whole session took about ten minutes.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 Finalist

Gift of the artist 2015
© George Fetting/Copyright Agency, 2021

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

George Fetting (age 49 in 2013)

John Waters (age 65 in 2013)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Donated by

George Fetting (4 portraits)

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.

Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds

Andrew Gaze

'Make it fun'

Portrait story

Basketballer Andrew Gaze and photographer George Fetting.

Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
Bryan Brown
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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.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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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