Indigenous photographer, Wayne Quilliam, has won this year’s National Photographic Portrait Prize for his photograph of Aurukun man, Eric Yunkaporta in ceremonial headwear.

‘Silent Strength, 2021’; © Wayne Quilliam. the winning image in this year’s National Photographic Portrait Prize. (Courtesy of the artist.)

In making their decision, the judging panel – award-winning press photographer Nick Moir together with Sandra Bruce, the National Portrait Gallery’s Director of Collection and Exhibitions and Associate Curator Rebecca Ray – said Quilliam’s portrait was a work of immense power and beauty. “Everything about this portrait is exceptional. The composition, the contrast, the richness of the colours in the ochres and feathers, and also the sense of pride the subject is portraying – all of these layers and details carry such power in connecting the subject and his story with the audience.”

The Highly Commended Award went to to Adam Ferguson for his portrait of Guatemalan migrant, Carlos Soyos, and his eight-year-old son Enderson, taken at the migrant shelter on the Mexican/United States border. The Art Handlers’ Award wents to ‘Cordy in the Clouds’ by Adam Haddrick.

Running concurrently, the Darling Portrait Prize is a national prize for Australian portrait painting honouring the legacy of Mr L Gordon Darling AC CMG, who was instrumental in establishing the National Portrait Gallery of Australia.  This year Jaq Grantford took out the top award with a self-portrait capturing the Melbourne artist’s ‘mixed feelings’ during pandemic enforced lockdowns.

Both exhibitions are open daily at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra from 25 June until Sunday 9 October 2022.

Also currently on show at the National Portrait Gallery is Shakespeare to Winehouse: Icons from the National Portrait Gallery, London, which closes on 17 July.  The exhibition features some of the best-known faces in British and international history, art and popular culture, from Queen Elizabeth I to Nelson Mandela, the Brontë sisters, Charles Dickens and Beatrix Potter to David Bowie, Mick Jagger and The Beatles, as well as major works by acclaimed artists including Peter Paul Rubens, Lucian Freud, Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Shirin Neshat.