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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.

Study for painting commission. David Chalmers Portrait Study 3, 2010

Nick Mourtzakis

pastel and graphite on paper (sheet: 50.0 cm x 39.0 cm)

David Chalmers (b. 1966) is world-renowned in the field of the philosophy of consciousness. Excelling at mathematics at the University of Adelaide in the mid 1980s, Chalmers was awarded a Rhodes scholarship at Oxford, but in 1989 chose to join the graduate program in philosophy at Indiana University, USA. There he wrote his doctoral thesis, 'Toward a theory of consciousness', which became the influential book The Conscious Mind: In search of a fundamental theory (1996). Currently Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Centre for Consciousness at the Australian National University, 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.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Commissioned 2011
© Nick Mourtzakis

Accession number: 2011.17.4

Currently on display: Gallery Eight (Temporary Exhibition Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Nick Mourtzakis (age 59 in 2010)

David Chalmers (age 44 in 2010)

Subject professions

Education and research

Related 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.

Interview with David Chalmers video: 13 minutes
Interview with David Chalmers video: 13 minutes
Interview with David Chalmers video: 13 minutes
Interview with David Chalmers video: 13 minutes

David Chalmers

'Consciousness, iPhones and philosophical zombies'

Portrait story

Professor David Chalmers explains his interest in philosophy and introduces some of his theories on the conscious mind.

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

Dissections

Layered portraits from the collection

Previous exhibition, 2016

This display sets two impressive portraits from the collection into direct dialogue: Sam Jinks’ sculptural self portrait and Nick Mourtzakis’ painted portrait of David Chalmers, along with related maquette and sketches.Together they explore physical and psychological manifestations of the strata of self-hood.

Curatorial discussion of the Inner Worlds exhibition  video: 11 minutes
Curatorial discussion of the Inner Worlds exhibition  video: 11 minutes
Curatorial discussion of the Inner Worlds exhibition  video: 11 minutes
Curatorial discussion of the Inner Worlds exhibition  video: 11 minutes

Inner Worlds

Portraits and Psychology

Previous exhibition, 2011

Portraits of Australia’s pioneering psychologists and artworks by artists fascinated by the subconscious mind.

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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.