Living Memory National Photographic Portrait Prize

Date 31.07.2021 - 07.11.2021
Location National Portrait Gallery


The National Photographic Portrait Prize has always drawn forth a candid, instructive expression of Australia. It’s a perennial Portrait Gallery and audience favourite for a reason: each year another delicious portmanteau emerges, featuring an intrigue of our fellows in national composite; and we, the lookers, pupils dilated, get to immerse ourselves in these pictures and their narratives, spanning tones quirky to quotidian, chilling to charming, zealous to zen.

2021 brings us the NPPP’s fourteenth iteration, and — with the cataclysmic events of late 2019 and 2020 in its orbit — conceivably its most significant. And so Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize 2021 was born. Conceived and named to acknowledge the starkest of times, the Gallery expanded this year’s Prize to support our artistic community: it features significantly more finalist works than usual; a new artist support payment, an extended exhibition season; and, supplementing the usual suite of winners’ prizes, mentorship opportunities awarded to selected finalists to support photographic career aspirations.


  • The winner for 2021 is Drought Story by Joel B. Pratley

    The Highly Commended Award goes to Julian Kingma for Tom at the Drain.

    The Distinction Awards go to R.J Poole for Great conjunction and Jessica Hromas for Mark and Saskia cool off. The Distinction Awards are a new, specially tailored mentorship prize designed to continue the National Portrait Gallery’s commitment to developing and nurturing Australian portrait photography.

    The Art Handlers’ Award goes to I’m just a suburban fashionista by Kristina Kraskov.