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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.

Guidelines for entrants

Darling Portrait Prize

If you have questions regarding your submission please contact:

Tara James
Exhibitions Projects Coordinator
National Portrait Gallery
P: (02) 6102 7069


These terms and conditions (Rules) govern your entry to the National Portrait Gallery’s (NPG) Darling Portrait Prize 2022 (the Prize).

To ensure your entry is valid your entry must be:

  • a painted portrait, as set out below under “Entries”;
  • completed on or after 1 July 2019; and
  • accompanied by a Sitter Consent Form (available to download at the bottom of this page) signed and completed by the sitter.

Please do not deliver your painting to NPG unless invited to do so. To enter, you will need to upload a digital image of your painting through NPG’s online entry registration page (which will open on 24 June 2021). You will be notified if your entry is selected for the second round of judging (in which case you will need to deliver your entry to NPG in Canberra).


Your entry (Painting) must be of:

  • an Australian citizen or Australian citizens;
  • a person or people who have each been resident in Australia for at least twelve months immediately prior to your online entry;
  • a person or persons having a strong association with Australia, or who has made a significant contribution to Australian life; or
  • any combination of the above.


To be eligible to enter, you must be:

  • an Australian citizen or a resident of Australia for at least twelve months immediately prior to your online entry; and
  • 18 years or over at the time of your online entry.

Officers, directors and employees of NPG (together with their immediate families) are not eligible to enter.


Your Painting must:

  • be based on a live sitting or study from life (sitting conducted using video communication technology, such as Zoom, are acceptable);
  • be painted entirely by you;
  • be a painting (photographic, sculptural and other portrait media are not eligible);
  • be predominantly in oil, tempera or acrylic (watercolours, works on paper and pastels are not eligible);
  • be completed on or after 1 July 2019;
  • be on a stretcher or board, preferably framed and unglazed;
  • be ready for hanging; and
  • be no larger than 153cm tall by 153cm wide (including frame).

In addition:

  • you may only enter one painting for the Prize;
  • the human figure should be predominate in your Painting, however cultural understandings of the notion of portraiture that might differ from the western notion of a portrait as a likeness of a physical person are acceptable;
  • self-portraits and group portraits are permitted; and
  • diptychs and triptychs may be submitted, provided the entire work does not, overall, exceed the maximum permitted size.


Entries close at 11:55pm AEDT on 10 January 2022 and may only be made online, when entries open on 24 June 2021.

When submitting your entry, you must:

  • fill in all the required fields;
  • upload the signed and completed Sitter Consent Form;
  • submit a brief narrative of maximum of 100 words about the sitter in the required field. You should discuss the wording of this with the sitter. If your painting is selected for the Exhibition, NPG will edit the text for consistency with wall labels;
  • upload a single jpeg format image of the entire Painting (including all parts of any diptych or triptych);
  • ensure that the file size is of sufficient quality to enable the judges properly to assess your Painting; and
  • pay a non-refundable entry fee of $75.00.

After your entry has been submitted you can edit, delete or replace it any time up until the closing date.

Payment must be made with a Mastercard or Visa debit/credit card. If you delete an entry you will not receive a refund.


The first round of judging will be conducted using the electronic images submitted by each artist. You will be notified by 10 February 2022 (tbc) if your Painting is selected for the second round of judging.


If selected for the second round, you will need to deliver your artwork to NPG between 7 March 2022 and 18 March 2022 inclusive and only between Monday to Friday and the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm during that period (unless otherwise agreed by NPG).

Works will not be accepted for second-round judging if:

  • not delivered by 4:30pm on 18 March 2022; or
  • if delivered while the Painting is still wet.

For hanging, please attach D rings 10 cm from the top on the reverse side of the work.

NPG will insure the work for the period from when it is delivered to NPG until you collect it. NPG will insure the work for the replacement value, against all customary risks of physical loss or damage from external causes subject to the Terms and Conditions of the Comcover Statement of Cover that apply at the time.

You must meet all costs associated with the delivery of your Painting, including insurance while in transit, and NPG will not accept any cost or charges for delivery of your Painting.

Deliveries will be receipted, but if you are delivering work by freight company or courier service and require proof of delivery, you should use a service that provides such notifications.


If successful in the second round of judging:

  • your Painting will be exhibited at NPG’s Darling Portrait Prize Exhibition (the Exhibition) from 25 June 2022 to 9 October 2022 (or as otherwise determined by NPG);
  • you agree, if requested, to make reasonable attempts to make yourself available to attend the press preview of the Exhibition and the announcement of the Prize in Canberra on 24 June 2022; and
  • you will be invited to the press preview, Prize announcement and opening function in Canberra on 24 June 2022.

You may not remove your Painting from the Exhibition or until the collection period stated below.


The winner of the Prize will be selected by a judging panel of at least three members, chaired by the Director of NPG. The members of the judging panel and the number of members will be decided solely by NPG.

The Prize is a cash prize of $75,000 (inclusive of GST), which will be paid in accordance with relevant Commonwealth Government protocols.

NPG reserves the right:

  • not to award the Prize should the judging panel be of the view that no entry of sufficient merit has been entered; and
  • to split the Prize between one or more entries should that be the recommendation of the judging panel.

All decisions of the judges and NPG are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

NPG reserves the right to disqualify any work for prize selection if the artist has not adhered to these Rules.


You must collect or arrange the collection of your Painting, at your own cost, as follows:

  • if submitted for second-round judging but not selected for the Exhibition - between 2 May 2022 and 13 May 2022 by appointment between 9:00am and 4:30pm on Monday to Friday; or
  • if it is selected for the Exhibition - in December 2022 by appointment between 9.00am and 4:30pm on Monday to Friday (exact dates to be determined).

NPG will pack the Painting in the same packaging in which it was delivered but will not arrange any freight company or courier service collections on your behalf, and will not accept any collection costs or charges.

If you wish someone to collect your Painting on your behalf you must provide prior written advice to NPG and ensure that your representative has a copy of the receipt issued on delivery, or some other valid form of identification.

If you do not collect your Painting within the relevant period stated above, you agree that:

  • NPG may move your Painting to a commercial storage facility;
  • you will become liable for all storage and transport costs; and
  • if you do not collect the Painting within six months, NPG may, at its discretion, dispose of or destroy your Painting without further notice to you (in which case NPG may recover any storage and transport costs that remain outstanding from any proceeds and retain any balance).


Copyright in your Painting will remain with you. You agree that you have not infringed the Intellectual Property Rights of any third party in the creation of the Painting.

If selected for the Exhibition, you grant NPG and any exhibition partners authorised by NPG an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, commercial, world-wide, royalty-free licence to publish and reproduce the Painting (in whole or in part, or partly obscured by text) for publication, reproduction, televising or transmission by any means for the following purposes:

  • the Exhibition (including advertising, catalogues which will be sold on a commercial basis and other media associated with any display of the painting in the Exhibition, as well as any promotional materials);
  • publication in Canberra Events publications;
  • inclusion in virtual tours of the Exhibition, which may be live or pre-recorded;
  • any domain of NPG’s website, social media platforms and other websites and accounts associated with NPG;
  • publication via the Google Arts and Culture online platform;
  • television programs that involve or relate to NPG or the subject of the interview;
  • research or study;
  • educational purposes;
  • NPG’s reporting, archival and preservation purposes; or
  • in conjunction with promotion of the Exhibition in future years.

NPG will work with artists and communities to ensure, to the best of its abilities, the protection of any Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property rights advised by the artist as part of the entry process. If any of these rights apply to the Painting, you will be required to disclose the details of the rights, including contact information, to NPG.

If your Painting is included in the Exhibition, you agree:

  • it will be impracticable for NPG to prevent visitors from taking photographs of the work (including on their smartphones); and
  • you will not hold NPG liable for such unauthorised photography.

NPG agrees to respect the Moral Rights of the Artist in the Painting and agrees to acknowledge the authorship of the Painting by the Artist when the Painting is publicly displayed or reproduced by NPG.

NPG agrees to take reasonable steps to protect the integrity of Painting.


If you advance to the second round of judging, NPG may, in its sole discretion and at any time up until you collect your Painting, choose to open negotiations with you to purchase your Painting for its collections (the Option).

If NPG exercises the Option, you agree to negotiate in good faith for such a purchase at the ordinary purchase price for a work such as your Painting (having regard to the market for your paintings as at the date you register your entry).

You also acknowledge that:

  • nothing in these Rules compels NPG to exercise the Option;
  • you have no obligation to sell your Painting to NPG, and understand that it has no bearing on whether or not your Painting is awarded the Prize; and
  • NPG may exercise its Option whether or not your Painting is awarded the Prize.


You warrant that:

  • you are authorised to enter the competition and can agree to these Rules;
  • your Painting will not infringe copyright or any other third party rights; and
  • before registration, you will have obtained all necessary permits, permissions and approvals for your Painting (for example, any necessary location releases or copyright licences).

To the maximum extent permitted by law and except for the express written terms in these Rules, all other express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations made by NPG in relation to the Prize competition or these Terms and Conditions are expressly excluded.

These Rules will be governed by the law of the Australian Capital Territory.

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© National Portrait Gallery 2022
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 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