Skip to main content

The National Portrait Gallery is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.

Menu

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.

The Huxleys

'Things are changing, which is really beautiful'

7 minutes 17 seconds

Will and Garrett on creating their costumes and being unconstrained in art and performance.

Ellie Cole

'I always dreamed of being a mermaid'

5 minutes 22 seconds

Ellie Cole on the freedom of the pool and being photographed by Peter Brew-Bevan.

Hugh Jackman by Vincent Fantauzzo

'I'm painting my truth'

16 minutes 21 seconds

Vincent Fantauzzo on painting his portrait of Hugh Jackman.

Peter Schipperheyn with bust of Peter Garrett
Peter Schipperheyn with bust of Peter Garrett
Peter Schipperheyn with bust of Peter Garrett
Peter Schipperheyn with bust of Peter Garrett

Peter Schipperheyn

'A quintessential Australian character'

5 minutes 37 seconds

Sculptor Peter Schipperheyn talks about working with marble and his portrait of Peter Garrett.

Gaby Kennard

'I'd like to learn to fly'

5 minutes 43 seconds

Aviator Gaby Kennard talks about her portrait and what motivated her to fly around the world.

Bill Henson

'Scale and presence'

5 minutes

Photographer Bill Henson describes creating his three part portrait of Simone Young.

David Williamson

'Playwriting, people and punchlines'

5 minutes 13 seconds

Australian playwright, David Williamson tells us tales from his career.

Sally Robinson

'Expect a polite refusal'

5 minutes

Artist Sally Robinson describes her career and the creation of her portrait of Tim Winton.

Jon Muir and Ian Darling

'My favourite place to be'

6 minutes

Filmmaker Ian Darling talks with adventurer Jon Muir about crossing the vast salt lakes of central Australia.

Dadang Christanto

'Buried in the beach'

5 minutes 6 seconds

Artist Dadang Christanto discusses his portrait taken by Hari Ho and how it relates to Dadang's sculpture 'Heads from the North'.

Anneliese Seubert

'My favourite subject was maths'

4 minutes 28 seconds

Anneliese Seubert describes the evolution of her modelling career, from Canberra schoolgirl to international supermodel.

Tilman Ruff

'To literally save the world'

8 minutes 30 seconds

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Tilman Ruff AO has focused his efforts on the prohibition of nuclear weapons.

Carla Zampatti

'Frescoes, feminism and fashion'

4 minutes 37 seconds

Carla discusses her decision, at age six, to become a fashion designer and the subsequent evolution of her career.

Anna Meares and Narelle Autio

'Come along for the ride'

9 minutes 19 seconds

Champion track cyclist, Anna Meares, discusses her portrait with artist Narelle Autio.

Tan Le

'So many stars'

10 minutes 27 seconds

Tech entrepreneur Tan Le and photographer John Tsiavis.

Catherine Livingstone

A conversation between artist and subject

4 minutes 5 seconds

Businesswoman Catherine Livingstone and artist Mathew Lynn.

Jessica Mauboy

'Chaos and stillness'

6 minutes 36 seconds

Singer, songwriter and actress Jessica Mauboy with artist David Rosetzky.

David Foster

'What the tree saw'

7 minutes 30 seconds

World champion woodcutter David Foster and artist Jacqui Stockdale.

Michelle Simmons

Eureka moment

5 minutes 56 seconds

Professor Michelle Simmons and photographer Selina Ou.

Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds
Andrew Gaze video: 6 minutes 26 seconds

Andrew Gaze

'Make it fun'

6 minutes 26 seconds

Basketballer Andrew Gaze and photographer George Fetting.

Nikki Toole

'Beauty and strength'

4 minutes 53 seconds

Photographer Nikki Toole describes the creation of her portrait of Rosie Batty.

Rosie Batty

'Together we will give victims a voice and demand our leaders act'

10 minutes 52 seconds

The 2015 Australian of the Year talks about grief and searching for recognition of, and action on, domestic violence.

David McAllister

'Complex stories without words'

4 minutes 45 seconds

Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, David McAllister describes the trajectory of his relationship with dance.

Ken Done

'I am very Sydney'

3 minutes 36 seconds

Iconic Australian artist Ken Done discusses his life and career as a painter.

Mark Loane

'The small space we are given'

4 minutes 34 seconds

Ophthalmic surgeon and former Wallabies Captain, Mark Loane, discusses his sporting and professional career.

Christos Tsiolkas

'Learning to write saved my life'

4 minutes 35 seconds

Acclaimed Australian author, Christos Tsiolkas describes his childhood and how he came to write.

Quentin Bryce

'To change the world'

4 minutes 47 seconds

Australia's 25th Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, discusses her childhood, career paths and her portrait by Michael Zavros.

Brian Schmidt

'A celebration of science'

3 minutes 58 seconds

Astrophysicist, Nobel Prize laureate and Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Professor Brian Schmidt chats about his career.

Mark Webber

'You've got to make of it what you will'

4 minutes 4 seconds

Champion racing driver, Mark Webber, discusses his childhood and racing career.

Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe video: 3 minutes 9 seconds
Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe video: 3 minutes 9 seconds
Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe video: 3 minutes 9 seconds
Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe video: 3 minutes 9 seconds

Kristin Headlam with Chris Wallace-Crabbe

'Poetry, painting and princesses'

3 minutes 9 seconds

Artist Kristin Headlam and poet Chris Wallace-Crabbe discuss their art.

Jacqueline Mitelman

'Buddha-nature'

3 minutes 37 seconds

Australian photographer, Jacqueline Mitelman, discusses her process for creating portraiture.

Professor Graeme Clark

'Scientific creativity'

4 minutes 44 seconds

Creator of the bionic ear, the Cochlear Implant, Professor Graeme Clark discusses his life and career.

Michael Leunig

'Drawing the human spirit'

6 minutes 27 seconds

Philosopher, cartoonist and national treasure, Michael Leunig discusses his art.
 

Glenn Murcutt

'Strength and delicacy'

4 minutes

Award-winning Australian architect, Glenn Murcutt describes the philosophy of his architectural practice and his minimalist portrait by Ken Done.

Charlie Teo

'I would love to be considered mainstream'

5 minutes

Acclaimed neurosurgeon, Charlie Teo discusses the pressures of his career.

David Malouf

'The person who is the writer'

4 minutes and 11 seconds

Australian author David Malouf discusses the creation of his portrait by artist Rick Amor.

Dave Graney and Clare Moore

'Why would you want to listen to pub rock?'

2 minutes 41 seconds

Dave Graney and Clare Moore discuss music, photography and bandoleros of meat.

Cadel Evans

'I believed in myself'

2 minutes 30 seconds

Australian champion cyclist Cadel Evans discusses his career.

Lowitja O'Donoghue and Robert Hannaford

'I'm going to wear everything red, black, and yellow'

4 minutes and 5 seconds

Lowitja O'Donoghue discusses her life and portrait by Robert Hannaford.

Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds
Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds
Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds
Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford video: 3 minutes and 21 seconds

Tim Flannery by Robert Hannaford

'The space around'

3 minutes and 21 seconds

Tim Flannery and artist Robert Hannaford discuss the creation of Tim's portrait.

Shane Gould

'Swimming is in my bones'

3 minutes 48 seconds

Shane Gould, Australian champion and Olympic gold medallist talks about her passion for swimming.

Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds
Phrenology video: 3 minutes 25 seconds

Ned Kelly and death masks

'Judge a person by their cover'

3 minutes 25 seconds

Alexandra Roginski explains the history behind the pseudo-science of phrenology.

Mandyam Srinivasan

'Hive minds'

3 minutes 37 seconds

An interview with Professor of Visual Neuroscience, University of Queensland, Mandyam Srinivasan.

Rod McNicol

'Life and Times'

3 minutes

Echoing 19th-century photography, Rod McNicol's portraits give us a chance to look quietly at the human condition.

Michael Riley's portraits

4 mins

Linda Burney, Brenda Croft and Darrell Sibosado share memories of Michael Riley and his photographic practice.

Charles Teo
Charles Teo
Charles Teo
Charles Teo

Charles Teo

by Adam Chang

1 minute

Dr Charles Teo, high-profile neurosurgeon, describes how it felt to sit for the portrait by Adam Chang.

William Bligh by John Webber video: 2 minutes
William Bligh by John Webber video: 2 minutes
William Bligh by John Webber video: 2 minutes
William Bligh by John Webber video: 2 minutes

William Bligh

by John Webber

2 minutes

Twice rebelled against, and twice vindicated, William Bligh occupies an ambivalent space in Australian history. Angus Trumble, former Director of the National Portrait Gallery, explains.

Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes
Marilyn Darling interview video: 2 minutes

Marilyn Darling

by Anne Zahalka

2 minutes

Marilyn Darling talks about the creation of her portrait, and the photographic process.

Gordon Darling

by Jiawei Shen

2 minutes

Gordon Darling talks about how Jiawei Shen came to paint his portrait.

Aldo Giurgola

by Mandy Martin

2 minutes

Romaldo Giurgola talks about his portrait and the relationship between architecture and landscape.

Portrait of Cate Blanchett

by David Rosetzky

3 minutes

David Rosetzky and Cate Blanchett talk about the creation of their video portrait.

Robert Drewe

An interview with Nicholas Harding

3 minutes

Artist Nicholas Harding talks about what was captured in his portrait of Robert Drewe.

Nicholas Harding

'A portrait of Hugo Weaving'

3 minutes

Artist Nicholas Harding talks about how he became interested in portraiture, and his motivation in painting Hugo Weaving.

Akira Isogawa

Inside the patterns

4 minutes 18 seconds

Iconic Australian fashion designer, Akira Isogawa discusses the development of his unique style.

Kate Grenville

'The secret river'

6 minutes

Kate Grenville reads a passage from her novel The secret river and describes its creation.

Betty Churcher

'Blockbuster Betty'

3 minutes

Betty Churcher discusses her career as the Director of the National Gallery of Australia.

'The portraits of Captain Cook'

An interview with Betty Churcher

3 minutes

Betty Churcher describes the creation of the portrait of Captain James Cook in the National Portrait Gallery.

Kate Grenville

'Making Stories'

3 minutes

Australian writer Kate Grenville discusses her career and portrait by Jenny Sages.

Peter Sculthorpe

'Brings in the sun'

2 minutes

Legendary Australian composer, Peter Sculthorpe, describes the development of his career.

Mark Richards

No choice, you’re going surfing, son

7 minutes

Australian surfing legend Mark Richards describes his professional surfing and surfboard shaping careers.

Tom Carroll

6 minutes

Regarded as one of the greatest surfers of all time, Tom Carroll describes his career.

Bob Brown

In defence of the 'leech ridden ditch'

12 minutes

Bob Brown discusses the events that occurred during the Franklin River campaign as depicted in his portrait by Harold 'The Kangaroo' Thornton.

David Chalmers

'Consciousness, iPhones and philosophical zombies'

13 minutes

Professor David Chalmers explains his interest in philosophy and introduces some of his theories on the conscious mind.

Shane Maloney and Rick Amor

'Big canvas, small head'

8 minutes

Artist Rick Amor and author Shane Maloney relate divergent experiences of the creation of Shane's portrait.

Marcia Langton, Brook Andrew and Trent Walter

'A big idea'

12 minutes

Professor Marcia Langton, artist Brook Andrew and printer Trent Walter discuss the creation of Marcia's portrait.

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG

'Radical Restraint'

5 minutes

The Hon. Michael Kirby AC CMG interviews the artist who painted his portrait, Ralph Heimans.

Professor Frank Fenner

'A White Shirt'

2 minutes

An interview with Professor Frank Fenner who describes his life and the creation of his portrait.

Nora Heysen

'This peaceful spot'

2 minutes

Australian artist, Nora Heysen, discusses her childhood and the development of her career.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Kym Bonython

'The man and his cap'

2 minutes

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

The Jester (Self Portrait) by Lionel Lindsay

'Comedy of Life'

2 minutes

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

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch

'Weaving the Dame'

2 minutes

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

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 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.

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.

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)

Joan Croll

2 minutes

An interview with the indomitable Joan Croll, subject of John Brack's portrait.

Political Cartooning

2 minutes

An interview with cartoonist Ron Tandberg about the tradition of caricature.

Young Mo (Roy Rene)

'The artist's notebook'

2 minutes

An interview with Australian artist and collector of quirky artefacts, Martin Sharp.

Walter Lindrum

'Wally and the game of billiards'

2 minutes

A portrait story exploring the life of Walter Lindrum, one of the greatest billiard players of all time.

Nancy Wake

'The White Mouse'

2 minutes

A portrait story describing the amazing life of World War II resistance fighter, Nancy Wake.

Dr John Yu

2 minutes

An interview with the acclaimed pediatrician Dr. John Yu who describes the process of having his portrait sculpture created by artist Ah Xian.

Sir Henry Barkly

2 minutes

An interview with former National Portrait Gallery Director, Andrew Sayers, who describes the portrait of Sir Henry Barkly by Thomas Clark.

Hugh Ramsay

'Letters from Paris'

2 minutes

Hugh Ramsay's letters were written while he was living in Paris to his family back in Australia.

Albert Namatjira

'You must not lose it'

2 minutes

The art and landscape of Albert Namatjira.

Patrick White by William Yang

2 minutes

An interview with photographer William Yang who recalls his encounters with the author Patrick White.

Martin Sharp by Garry Shead

2 minutes

Artists Garry Shead and Martin Sharp recount their friendship and the creation of Martin's portrait.

Tim Winton

'I am at the beach'

2 minutes

A series of excepts from Tim Winton's novel 'The Land's Edge'.

Don Bradman

The creation of 'Our Don'

2 minutes

A portrait story that explores the life and times of legendary Australian cricketer Sir Donald Bradman.

Chrissy Amphlett

'I was never submissive'

2 minutes

An interview with the iconic Australian rocker Chrissy Amphlett.

Michael Hutchence by Harry Borden

2 minutes

An interview with photographer Harry Borden about his portrait of Michael Hutchence.

Deborah Mailman by Evert Ploeg

2 minutes

An interview with artist Evert Ploeg about his portrait of the Australian actor Deborah Mailman.

Adam Scott by Robin Sellick

1 minute

An interview with photographer Robin Sellick about his portrait of golfing champion Adam Scott.

David Campese by Paul Newton

2 minutes

An interview with Paul Newton, the creator of the portrait of rugby legend David Campese.

George Lambert

'Self Portrait with Gladioli'

1 minute

An examination of the life and times of George Lambert through the gesture and pose in his self portrait. 

Nick Cave by Howard Arkley

2 minutes

An interview with graffiti artist Marc de Jong about the art of Howard Arkley.

Douglas Frew Waterhouse

'A bug in the hand'

2 minutes

Australian entomologist and inventer of the Aerogard insect repellent, Douglas Frew Waterhouse describes the evolution of his career.

Princess Mary

2 minutes

Artist Jiawei Shen describes the symbolism in his portrait of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.

Practising the Minuet

'Who was Hilda Spong?'

2 minutes

Broadway star Miss Hilda Spong was painted by Tom Roberts in 1893.

Bee Miles

'Eccentricity'

2 minutes

An exploration of Bee Miles' defining characteristic.

Nat Young

'How to be a surfing legend'

2 minutes

Albert Falzon's photograph of Australian surfer Nat Young captures what it is to be a surfing hero.

Related information

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

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

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

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

© 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