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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.

Hilda Heley, 2015 Peter Wegner

Drawn from life

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2021

Penelope Grist discovers the rich narratives in Peter Wegner’s series of centenarian portraits.

Surfing, Noosa, 1970s Stuart Spence

The play’s the thing

About Face article

Penelope Grist charts an immersive path through Stuart Spence’s photography.

Brooke Lockett, Heidi Martin, Karen Nanasca, Halaina Hills; New York, 2012 Lisa Tomasetti

Dance like everyone’s watching

About Face article

Penelope Grist’s spirits soar with Lisa Tomasetti’s Dancers in the Streets series.

Untitled, Conductors, Tramways series, 1990 © Matt Nettheim

Back track

About Face article

Penelope Grist finds photographer Matt Nettheim re-visiting a formative and fulfilling career tram stop.

Writing on the Wall, 2019 Dr Christian Thompson AO

To arrive at hope

NPPP 2020 exhibition essay
General content

Penelope Grist, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2020 Prize.

Lindy Lee

The long game

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2020

Penelope Grist spends some quality time with the Portrait Gallery’s summer collection exhibition, Eye to Eye.

Portrait of Susan Wakil AO

About grace

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2020

Penelope Grist finds philanthropy and fashion underpin the story of Susan Wakil AO.

Eugene Lane

Starstruck: On Location

Australian Movie Portraits
Touring exhibition, 2019

Striking, beautiful portraiture comes out of the most thoroughly documented creative process there is – filmmaking. In a ground-breaking collaboration the National Portrait Gallery and National Film and Sound Archive invite you into this captivating realm between real and fictional worlds. 

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

NPPP 2016 exhibition essay

General content

Penny Grist, National Photographic Portrait Prize judge and curator, introduces the 2016 Prize.

The Window Seat, 1907 by Frances Hodgkins

Kiwi magpie

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2018

Penelope Grist finds inspiration in pioneering New Zealand artist, Frances Hodgkins.

Simone Young

Conduct becoming

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2017

Penelope Grist speaks to Bill Henson and Simone Young to discover the origins of the artist’s stunning photographic triptych.

Lovers And Luggers : Publicity Shot featuring Shirley Ann Richards Lloyd Hughes And Elaine Hamill (1937)

Starstruck

Australian Movie Portraits
Previous exhibition, 2017

Striking, beautiful portraiture comes out of the most thoroughly documented creative process there is – filmmaking. In a ground-breaking collaboration the National Portrait Gallery and National Film and Sound Archive invite you into this captivating realm between real and fictional worlds. 

Director John Duigan and actor Judy Davis on the set of ‘Winter of our Dreams’, Sydney, 1981 by Robert McFarlane

Natural born stiller

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist speaks to Robert McFarlane about shooting for the stars.

Miles and Arkie, 2015 by Clint Peloso

Shop Talk

Magazine article by Stephen Phillips, 2016

Angus and the arbiters talk (photo) shop for the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

Dave Graney

Naked nostalgia

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist reminisces about the halcyon days of a print icon, before the infusion of the internet’s shades of grey.

Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016

Previous exhibition, 2016

The National Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Jessie Street

Australia’s great internationalists

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2016

Penelope Grist explores the United Nations stories in the Gallery’s collection.

The Bare story

General content

Curator, Penny Grist, reveals how this exhibition came to be

Untitled #21/09 (after Ricci, 1700; featuring Matthew Mitcham)

Getting bare

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

How seven portraits within Bare reveal in a public portrait parts of the body and elements of life usually located in the private sphere.

Self Portrait with Stetson, 2011 by Darren McDonald

Painting them gently

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

Penny Grist on motivation, method and melancholy in the portraiture of Darren McDonald.

Dame Edna Everage

Bare

Degrees of undress
Previous exhibition, 2015

Bare: Degrees of undress celebrates the candid, contrived, natural, sexy, ironic, beautiful, and fascinating in Australian portraiture that shows a bit of skin. 

The Long Awaited, 2008 by Patricia Piccinini

In the flesh

Magazine article by Penelope Grist, 2015

An exhibition of humanness in ten themes by Penelope Grist.

Divide, 2011 by Sam Jinks

In the flesh

Previous exhibition, 2014

In the flesh is an enthralling and immersive experience of contemporary art that confronts the concept of humanness and the experiences of consciousness and emotion. Featuring ten Australian artists including Jan Nelson, Patricia Piccinini, Ron Mueck and Michael Peck, the exhibition explores themes of intimacy, empathy, transience, transition, vulnerability, alienation, restlessness, reflection, mortality and acceptance.

Ryder Jack Susman in a Williamstown hairdresser by Abigail Varney

PROMO

Portraits from prime time
Previous exhibition, 2014

This exhibition goes behind-the-scenes and into the spotlight with professional photographers and the stars of Australian television, music and comedy. Whether negotiating the logistics of a big publicity shoot or quietly capturing moments on set during filming, the photographers' stories are intriguing and compelling.

© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

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Fax +61 2 6102 7001
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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