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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 of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000

Peter Wegner

oil on canvas

Graeme Clark AO (b. 1935) is Laureate Professor Emeritus of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne and the Director Emeritus of the Bionic Ear Institute. Clark made it possible for thousands of profoundly deaf people to hear when he launched the cochlear implant in 1978. The possibility of using an electrical device to stimulate the nerves inside the inner ear to produce hearing had been pursued sporadically by researchers since the 18th century. Clark has said that he discovered how to insert an electrode into the inner ear while studying shells on the beach; it took him and his team 12 years to develop the first device that could do this successfully. Nicknamed the 'Bionic Ear', it remains the world leader in its field. Research and refinement of the cochlear implant continue, and Clark has also developed other hearing devices, in pursuit of what has been called one of the major medical advances of our time. Clark was named Senior Australian of the Year in 2001. Amongst his many publications are Science and God (1979) and an autobiographical account of his research, Sounds from Silence (2000).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the family of Professor Graeme Clark 2001
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
© Peter Wegner

Accession number: 2001.40

Currently on display: Gallery Eight (Temporary Exhibition Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Peter Wegner (age 47 in 2000)

Professor Graeme Clark AO (age 65 in 2000)

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

Graeme Clark video: 4 minutes 44 seconds
Graeme Clark video: 4 minutes 44 seconds
Graeme Clark video: 4 minutes 44 seconds
Graeme Clark video: 4 minutes 44 seconds

Professor Graeme Clark

'Scientific creativity'

Portrait story

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

Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner
Portrait of Professor Graeme Clark, 2000 Peter Wegner

Inspiration + Realisation: Peter Wegner

Magazine article by Katherine Russell, 2006

Peter Wegner's approach to portraiture could be considered a visual record of the rapport, the dynamic space between artist and subject.

The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012 by Ralph Heimans
The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012 by Ralph Heimans
The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012 by Ralph Heimans
The Coronation Theatre, Westminster Abbey: A Portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, 2012 by Ralph Heimans

Glorious

A Diamond Jubilee portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Previous exhibition, 2012

Glorious: A Diamond Jubilee portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is a collection-based display representing The Queen in the early and late years of her glittering sixty-year reign.

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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.