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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.

Professor Graeme Clark (profile), 2000

Peter Wegner

etching on paper (sheet: 38.0 cm x 53.8 cm, image: 22.3 cm x 20.5 cm)

More images of this artwork

Graeme Clark AO (b. 1935) is Laureate Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne and the Director 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 just 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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of the artist 2002
© Peter Wegner

Accession number: 2002.58.4

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Peter Wegner (age 47 in 2000)

Professor Graeme Clark AO (age 65 in 2000)

Donated by

Peter Wegner (5 portraits)

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.

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The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

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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.