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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.

Dr Paul Scully-Power, 2005

Evert Ploeg

oil on canvas (frame: 184.4 cm x 108.3 cm, support: 183.0 cm x 106.5 cm)

Paul Scully-Power AM (b. 1944), oceanographer and remote sensing expert, flew on the space shuttle Challenger in 1984, making scientific observations of the earth's oceans. Born in Sydney, where he gained his doctorate of science in applied mathematics, he won international renown for his discovery of the phenomenon of spiral eddies. Having begun his career in the Oceanographic Section of the Royal Australian Navy, he went on exchange to the US Navy and became involved in the NASA space program. Later, he worked for the US Navy, NASA, the Pentagon and the White House. Returning to Australia, he became Chairman of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and Chancellor of Bond University. He has received innumerable awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Space Medal, Laureate of the Albatross, Order of the Decibel, and the Oswald Watt Gold Medal. His biography, Oceans to Orbit, was published in 1995.

The scroll in this painting refers to an oceanic spiral eddy that Scully-Power discovered while in orbit on the Challenger. The Nereus badge, depicting the Old Man of the Sea, was designed by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for him to wear on the expedition. His cufflinks commemorate his honour as a Freeman of the City of London.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased with donated funds 2006
© Evert Ploeg/Copyright Agency, 2020

Accession number: 2006.35

Currently not on display

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Artist and subject

Evert Ploeg (age 42 in 2005)

Paul Scully Power AM (age 61 in 2005)

Subject professions

Science and technology

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The Companion

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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.

Interview with Evert Ploeg video: 2 minutes
Interview with Evert Ploeg video: 2 minutes
Interview with Evert Ploeg video: 2 minutes
Interview with Evert Ploeg video: 2 minutes

Deborah Mailman by Evert Ploeg

Portrait story

An interview with artist Evert Ploeg about his portrait of the Australian actor Deborah Mailman.

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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.