The ‘Darling Portrait Prize’ & ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ finalists

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG), Canberra have recently announced the finalists for the $75,000 inaugural ‘Darling Portrait Prize’ for Australian portrait painting, along with the finalists for the $50,000 ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’.

Created to honour the legacy of Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG (1921-2015), one of the founding patrons who was instrumental in the establishment of the National Portrait Gallery, the ‘Darling Portrait Prize’ aspires to be one of Australia’s most prestigious awards for portraiture. While the ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ presents a platform for amateur, hobby and professional portrait photographers and is one of NPG’s most highly anticipated exhibitions, now in its 13th year.

Yvonne East, Doug from Eden, 2018, oil on canvas. Finalist Darling Portrait Prize 2020. Courtesy the artist and National Portrait Gallery, Australian Capital Territory

We congratulate painters Andrea Sinclair, Anna Minardo, Anne Middleton, Anthea da Silva, Ben Bickley, Betina Fauvel‑Ogden, Caroline Zilinsky, Colleen Stapleton, Dagmar Cyrulla, Dalu Zhao, David Darcy, Dee Smart, Denis O’Connor, Elizabeth Barden, Gene Hart‑Smith, Jana Vodesil‑Baruffi, John Skillington, Jordan Richardson, Kate Beynon, Kathrin Longhurst, Kirsty Neilson, Liam Nunan, Megan Hales, Naomi Lawler, Narelle Zeller, Natasha Bieniek, Nick Kohler, Paul Newton, Sally Robinson, Sean Burton, Sean Hutton, Shirley Purdie, Sibone Heary, Todd Simpson, Tom Farrell, Vincent Fantauzzo, Warren Crossett, Wendy Sharpe, Yvonne East and Zoe Young, as finalists in the ‘Darling Portrait Prize’.

The judging panel – Professor Denise Ferris, Head of the ANU School of Art & Design, Tony Elwood AM, Director of the National Gallery of Victoria, and National Portrait Gallery Director Karen Quinlan AM – will announce the winner on Thursday 5 March. The exhibition will be open to the public from 6 March to 10 May 2020.

‘Our aim is to make The Darling Prize one of the most significant portraiture events in Australia, and this vibrant exhibition shows just how vital the artform is, as a mode of expression for artists, and one that continues to capture and define the people, moments and emotions of our time,’ said Quinlan.

We also applaud 48 photographers who are in the running for the ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’, which will be awarded across four categories; Winner, Highly Commended, Art Handlers Award and the People’s Choice Award. The ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ finalists works will also be on show at NPG from 6 March to 10 May 2020, with the announcement of the Art Handlers Prize on 10 March and the overall winners on Friday 13 March. Click here to view the full list of finalists for the ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’.

Klarissa Dempsey, Wonder, 2019. Finalist National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020. Courtesy the artist and National Portrait Gallery, Australian Capital Territory

Excited by the opportunities the ‘Darling Portrait Prize’ and the ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ provide to painters and photographers alike, Quinlan said, ‘The Photographic Portrait Prize (the NPPP) is one of our most popular exhibitions, offering equal billing for amateur and professional photographers and an incredible opportunity for entrants to not only win prizes including the latest photographic equipment from Canon, but to have their work shown in this great national cultural institution.’

Further noting, ‘2020 will be a landmark year for portraiture as we also launch the inaugural Darling Prize for portrait paintings, with an exceptionally generous first prize of $75,000. The exhibition is a most fitting legacy for our founding patrons Gordon and Marilyn Darling, with some exceptional entries from established and emerging Australian painters.’

‘We cannot wait to open our doors for the National Portrait Prizes, where all three of the National Portrait Gallery exhibition spaces will be filled with new works of portraiture, a testimony to the artforms’ continuing importance and relevance in the Australian arts landscape,’ she continued.