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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.

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize

Currently closed

Main image: Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley. Courtesy of the artist. © The artist

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$15 / $12 Concession / $10 Circle of Friends / Under 18s free
Book online and receive 10% off! Also please note we cannot accept cash payments at the Gallery.

Check our latest conditions of entry related to COVID-19.

The Living Memory 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. This edition of the prize incorporates a year like no other: 2020. Accordingly, the title - Living Memory - acknowledges the period's seismic events. The winner for 2021 is

Drought Story by Joel B. Pratley

The Highly Commended Award goes to Julian Kingma for Tom at the Drain.

The Distinction Awards go to R.J Poole for Great conjunction and Jessica Hromas for Mark and Saskia cool off. The Distinction Awards are a new, specially tailored mentorship prize designed to continue the National Portrait Gallery’s commitment to developing and nurturing Australian portrait photography. The Art Handlers' Award goes to I'm just a suburban fashionista by Kristina Kraskov.

For the 2021 Prize, judges Bill Henson (guest judge, Photographer), Nick Mitzevich (guest judge, Director, National Gallery of Australia), and Karen Quinlan (Director, National Portrait Gallery) selected 79 portraits from over 3000 entries. We thank everyone who submitted photographs for the Prize.

Vote for your favourite in the People's Choice Award!

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Access information

This program is wheelchair accessible.

79 finalists

1 Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley. 2 Tom at the drain, 2020 Julian Kingma. 3 Great conjunction, 2020 R J Poole. 4 Mark and Saskia cool off, 2021 Jessica Hromas. 5 I'm just a suburban fashionista, 2021 Kristina Kraskov. All Courtesy of the artist © The artist.
Living Memory sponsors

Related information

The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020

Previous exhibition, 2020

The 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.

Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix
Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix
Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix
Artists in residence – Carlos, Jono and Lazy Susan, 2020 Suzanne Phoenix

Living Memory Tours

National Photographic Portrait Prize

Currently closed

Join us in the Gallery to as we share the stories behind the photographs, and explore how the artists have captured a year like no other.

Portrait of Minika, 2013 by Grace Costa
Portrait of Minika, 2013 by Grace Costa
Portrait of Minika, 2013 by Grace Costa
Portrait of Minika, 2013 by Grace Costa

Portrait Photography - How to Pose Everyday People

with Grace Costa: Photographic Artist

1:00pm, Sat 15 Jan

Join photographer Grace Costa in the Gallery as she shares practical portrait-posing skills for beginner or mid-career photographers.

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
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