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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.

Great conjunction, 2020

R J Poole

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2021 Distinction

The purpose of entering a lake is not to 'know' the lake, but to luxuriate in the water – to feel the cold against our skin, the weight of our body disappear. It’s not about working the lake out. Likewise, art is not a test of intellect so much as an experience. It is not a concept or a measure of how much we know, so much as an emotional exchange, a sharing of things held in common between an artist and their audience. It's like a spiritual connection that ultimately changes the way we feel, and helps us become weightless.

Courtesy of the artist
© The artist

People's Choice Award

Living Memory National Photographic Portrait Prize

Vote for your chance to win...
1 x Living Memory catalogue (RRP $49.95)
1 x night at Midnight hotel Autograph Collection
1 x annual family membership to the Circle of Friends
1 x double pass to any exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in 2022

The photographer who receives the most votes in the People’s Choice Award will receive $5,000 from The David Roche Foundation.

Voting closes Sunday 5 December 2021. Terms and conditions apply.

Related information

Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley
Drought story, 2020 Joel B. Pratley

Living Memory

National Photographic Portrait Prize

Current exhibition

Currently closed

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.

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

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The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

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© 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