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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.

Portrait Stories

Portrait Stories use video, multimedia and sound to present the stories of the artists and subjects in the National Portrait Gallery's collection. This series is produced with funds donated by Tim Fairfax AC.

Interview with Penny Sackett & Andrew Mezei video: 5 minutes
Interview with Penny Sackett & Andrew Mezei video: 5 minutes
Interview with Penny Sackett & Andrew Mezei video: 5 minutes

Penny Sackett and Andrew Mezei

From Earth to Sky

5 minutes

Professor Penny Sackett and artist Andrew Mezei describe the process behind making the portrait.

Interview with Penny Sackett video: 7 minutes
Interview with Penny Sackett video: 7 minutes
Interview with Penny Sackett video: 7 minutes

Penny Sackett

From Earth to Sky

7 minutes

Professor Penny Sackett, Australian National University and former Chief Scientist for Australia (2008-2011) talks about her life in science.

Interview with Andrew Mezei video: 4 minutes
Interview with Andrew Mezei video: 4 minutes
Interview with Andrew Mezei video: 4 minutes

Andrew Mezei

'From Earth to Sky'

4 minutes

Artist Andrew Mezei talks about his art practice and the process behind his portrait of Professor Penny Sackett. 

Interview with Professor Peter Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Professor Peter Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Professor Peter Doherty video: 2 minutes

Professor Peter Doherty

'Not your stereotypical scientist'

2 minutes

Australian Nobel Prize winner, Professor Peter Doherty, provides some entertaining insights into his career and the science profession.

Interview with Meredith McKinney video: 2 minutes
Interview with Meredith McKinney video: 2 minutes
Interview with Meredith McKinney video: 2 minutes

The Family

by Charles Blackman

2 minutes

Meredith McKinney, subject of Charles Blackman's 'The Family', recounts memories from her childhood and the creation of the portrait.

Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes
Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes
Interview with Andrew Sayers video: 2 minutes

Kym Bonython

'The man and his cap'

2 minutes

Former National Portrait Gallery Director, Andrew Sayers, describes John Brack's portrait of Kym Bonython.

Lionel Lindsay portrait story video: 2 minutes
Lionel Lindsay portrait story video: 2 minutes
Lionel Lindsay portrait story video: 2 minutes

The Jester (Self Portrait) by Lionel Lindsay

'Comedy of Life'

2 minutes

A visual exploration of themes depicted in 'The Jester' by Lionel Lindsay.

Interview with Sue Walker and Christopher Pyett video: 2 minutes
Interview with Sue Walker and Christopher Pyett video: 2 minutes
Interview with Sue Walker and Christopher Pyett video: 2 minutes

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

'Weaving the Dame'

2 minutes

An interview with Victorian Tapestry Workshop artists Sue Walker and Christopher Pyett.

Interview with Dimmi video: 2 minutes
Interview with Dimmi video: 2 minutes
Interview with Dimmi video: 2 minutes

Vali Myers

'A friend in a lift'

2 minutes

Interview with Vali Myers' friend, Dimmi, the lift-attendant at the Nicholas Building in Melbourne.

Captain James Cook portrait story video: 2 minutes
Captain James Cook portrait story video: 2 minutes
Captain James Cook portrait story video: 2 minutes

Captain Cook

'The photojournalists of their time'

2 minutes

An exploration of the role of artists such as John Webber who, whilst a member of Cook’s crew over many voyages, created paintings and drawings of the situations and people the explorers encountered.

Interview with Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes
Interview with Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes
Interview with Andy Thomas video: 3 minutes

Andy Thomas

'When I grow up I want to be an astronaut'

3 minutes

An interview with Australian astronaut, Dr. Andy Thomas, who describes the experience of space travel.

Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes
Interview with Chris O'Doherty video: 2 minutes

Chris O'Doherty (Reg Mombassa)

Self Portrait with spots and veins

2 minutes

An interview with iconic Australian artist, Chris O'Doherty (otherwise known as Reg Mombassa)

Related information

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© National Portrait Gallery 2020
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia


Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

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.