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ON DISPLAY

Tilman Ruff
, 2019

by Nikki Toole

type C photograph (frame: 86.0 cm x 76.0 cm depth 4.0 cm)

Tilman Ruff (b. 1955), infectious diseases and public health physician, was a founder of ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017. Ruff’s parents were German Christians who were shunted from Palestine to Egypt and back to incarceration in Palestine before coming to Australia, where they were again interned until 1947. They settled in Adelaide, where Tilman Ruff was born. As a student of science and then medicine at Monash University, Melbourne, he formed an Amnesty International group. Graduating in 1980, he joined the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, of which he later became co-president. He was the founding chair of ICAN and remains involved with the operation. In 2015 he and Malcolm Fraser wrote an article for the Age newspaper titled ‘2015 is the Year to Ban Nuclear Weapons’. Ruff is an international medical adviser to the Australian Red Cross, for which he recently wrote on the humanitarian impact and implications of nuclear test explosions in the Pacific region. He is a member of the World Health Organisation’s expert panel on hepatitis B for the Western Pacific region and an associate professor at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne.

Nikki Toole studied film and photography in London and Edinburgh and has exhibited in Australia, Britain, USA and Germany. Toole’s exhibition Skater, featuring photographs taken around the world, was developed with the National Portrait Gallery and exhibited in 2012. Five times a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, she was commissioned to photograph Mark Ella and Rosie Batty for the Gallery’s permanent collection in 2015 and 2017. She has also made significant series of portraits of participants in the sport of roller derby, and of London butchers.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 2019
Accession number: 2019.52