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David Chalmers, 2011

Nick Mourtzakis

oil on canvas (support: 183 cm x 122 cm)

David Chalmers (b.1966), philosopher, excelled at mathematics at the University of Adelaide in the 1980s and developed a fascination with consciousness and the mind. Consciousness can be described as the sense of awareness, through mental images and thoughts, of being in the world. Presently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University, Chalmers is interested in determining fundamental principles that connect physical processes to consciousness. His books define current debates on the subject. In his work Chalmers demonstrates attentiveness to the important role played by our individual subjective experience of the world. He maintains an abiding interest in neuroscience and the psychology of consciousness.

The delicate nature of Chalmers’s ideas and the clarity of his writing suggested to artist Nick Mourtzakis the necessity of creating a portrait that captures the non-physical quality of thought.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned 2011

Accession number: 2011.17.1

Currently on display: Gallery Two (Contemporary Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Nick Mourtzakis (age 60 in 2011)

David Chalmers (age 45 in 2011)

Subject professions

Education and research

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