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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.

Tracey Moffatt dreaming, 2017

James Horan

type C photograph on paper (frame: 129.7 cm x 129.5 cm depth 4.5 cm, image/sheet: 119.5 cm x 119.5 cm)
Image not available (NC)

Tracey Moffatt (b. 1960), artist, became widely known at the end of the 1980s through her postmodern photographic series Something More, which hinted at a sinister drama in the outback. The subsequent series Pet Thang (1991), Scarred for Life (1994, 1999), Up in the Sky (1997) and Laudanum (1998) established Moffatt's place as Australia's leading urban Aboriginal artist. Much of her work depends on interplay between image and title, hinting at disturbing situations or events which the viewer will never be able to unravel, or understand, although the series Fourth pictured individuals who had come fourth in their events at the 2000 Olympic Games. Moffatt's work in film and video has included short films, experimental video and a feature film; Night Cries (1989) was shown at Cannes, as was Bedevil (1993). Voyeur (1997) is collected footage of men getting changed in a beach carpark; Lip (1999) a collation of clips from Hollywood movies of black people 'talking back' to white authority figures. By 2004, it was claimed that after Stelarc, Moffatt was the most famous and admired Australian on the international art scene, with scores of exhibitions in America and Europe. She is represented in all major Australian galleries.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Gift of the artist 2019

Accession number: 2019.68

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

James Horan (age 41 in 2017)

Tracey Moffatt (age 57 in 2017)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Related information

The Companion

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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.

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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.