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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.

Dan Sultan

2011
Martin Philbey

type C photograph on paper (frame: 92.7 cm x 123.8 cm)

Dan Sultan (b. 1983), singer- songwriter, was born in Melbourne, his father Irish and his mother of the Arrernte and Gurindji people of the Northern Territory. He wrote his first song at age ten and was 22 when he released his debut album, Homemade Biscuits (2006). Included on it was the single ‘Your love is like a song’, which won himthe Deadly Award for Single of the Year in 2007. Sultan’s second album, Get Out While You Can (2009), reached number 1 on the independent Australian charts and in 2010 won him the ARIAs for best male artist and best blues & roots album; the Deadlys for best single and best male artist; and the Australian Independent Record Label Association awards for best independent artist and best independent blues & roots album. Having appeared with Paul Kelly and others on the Kev Carmody tribute album Cannot Buy My Soul (2007) he made his screen debut in the 2009 film Bran Nue Day. The album Blackbird (2014), recorded in Nashville, won the ARIA for best rock album. Sultan’s subsequent releases include Killer (2017) and an album for children, Nali and Friends (2019).

This portrait was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize in 2012. Martin Philbey said he wanted to show Sultan ‘stripped back to the essence of his being, with no other distractions. Everything that makes him who he is is on display’.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 Finalist

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with funds provided by Ruth and Peter McMullin 2013
© Martin Philbey

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Martin Philbey (age 49 in 2011)

Dan Sultan (age 28 in 2011)

Subject professions

Performing arts

Supported by

Ruth McMullin (1 portrait supported)

Peter McMullin AM (1 portrait supported)

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Portraiture is traditionally a silent, static medium, so how do we celebrate those who are known for making sound? Join us as we turn it up to eleven for an exploration of works featuring some well loved noisemakers.

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On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Dan Sultan
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Dan the man

Magazine article by India Bednall, 2015

Martin Philbey’s portrait of Dan Sultan.

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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.

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