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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.

Steve Kilbey

1981 (printed 2018)
Gary Ede

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 49.9 cm x 38.7 cm, image: 46.1 cm x 34.9 cm, frame: depth 4.3 cm)

Steve Kilbey (b. 1954), singer-songwriter, is the frontman of the Australian band The Church. Kilbey came to Australia from England with his family as a young boy. After they settled in Canberra, the teenage Kilbey began playing bass guitar with the covers band Saga. Having played with Precious Little, in about 1974 he formed his own band, Baby Grande; for a while, he worked as a computer programmer. At the end of the 1970s, in Sydney, he formed The Church with Peter Koppes, with whom he’d played in Precious Little, and Nick Ward; they were soon joined by Marty Willson Piper, who was later replaced by Richard Ploog. In 1988 The Church broke through internationally with the Steve Kilbey/Karin Jansson song ‘Under the Milky Way’, consistently rated amongst the best Australian songs of all time, winner of the ARIA for best song of 1988 and used in the cult film Donnie Darko in 2001. The band’s other best known songs are ‘Unguarded Moment’ and ‘Almost With You’. Kilbey has released many ‘primary’ albums, but has also been involved in numerous collaborations and sideline projects, including Hex, Jack Frost (with the Go Betweens’ Grant McLennan), Curious (Yellow) with Karin Jansson, Gilt Trip (with his brother Russell) and a number of albums with Martin Kennedy of All India Radio. He is also a visual artist, whose work expresses his longstanding interest in mysticism and spiritualism. His autobiography Something Quite Peculiar was published in 2014.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Wayne Williams 2018
© Gary Ede

Artist and subject

Gary Ede (age 35 in 1981)

Steve Kilbey (age 27 in 1981)

Supported by

Wayne Williams (30 portraits supported)

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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 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