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Dissections: Layered portraits from the collection is now open

19 August 2016

Divide (Self portrait), 2011 by Sam Jinks
Divide (Self portrait), 2011 by Sam Jinks

How can we read a portrait? And how many layers of meaning can we find?

Dissections, the exhibition, sees two intriguing portraits from the Gallery’s permanent collection face-off across a Gallery to explore these exact questions.

Dissections, showcases the hyper-realist sculptural self-portrait of artist Sam Jinks, Divide, alongside the painted portrait of philosopher David Chalmers by Nick Mourtzakis, which was commissioned by the Gallery in 2011. Both portraits will be displayed with their preparatory maquette and sketches, showing the stages involved in making each portrait,’ said exhibition curator Dr. Christopher Chapman.  

‘Both larger-than-life portraits, explore the physical and psychological manifestations of self-hood.’

‘Sam Jinks draws on the classic humanist themes of Italian Renaissance art. With the portrait head and bone-like maquette of Jinks exploring the intersection of science, self-hood and the traditions of the portrait bust. While David Chalmers portrait was intended to be as ‘non-material’ and ‘non-physical’ as possible while communicating his “utter sensitivity”.’

A technologically-precise sculpture depicts an artist. A speculative painting depicts a philosopher. Together, in this focus display, they explore physical and psychological manifestations of self-hood.

Dissections is on display in Gallery 1 from Friday 19 August to Sunday 27 November 2016.

For interviews or images from the exhibition please contact:

Katrina Osborne
Marketing & Media
T 02 6102 7021
M 0408 491 545


David Chalmers (b. 1966) is world-renowned in the field of the philosophy of consciousness. Chalmers is attentive to the role of subjective experience in consciousness as much as he is interested in neuroscience and the psychology of consciousness. In essence, Chalmers seeks to determine a set of fundamental principles that connect physical processes to consciousness.

Nick Mourtzakis (b. 1951) is Melbourne-based artist and teacher. Mourtzajkis migrated to Melbourne with his Greek family in the early 1950s and trained at the Preston Institute of Technology and Mercer House Teachers' College in the early 1970s. Having taught art continuously since 1975, he is now a lecturer at RMIT. In 2004 he gained a master's degree from the Victorian College of the Arts for work on cubism, which culminated in an exhibition of drawings, The Analytical Portrait.

Sam Jinks is a self-taught sculptor who lives and works in Melbourne. Jinks worked as an illustrator before turning to sculpture. He worked in film and television special effects to develop his skills and techniques and went on to work as a fabricator with artist Patricia Piccinini’s studio. For the last ten years Jinks has worked as an independent sculptor working in silicone, fiberglass, resin and hair – human, animal and synthetic