A day in the life of medicine in South Australia

Sir Joseph Verco, co-founder of the University of Adelaide's Medical School. Portrait by Avril Thomas.

Sir Joseph Verco, co-founder of the University of Adelaide's Medical School. Portrait by Avril Thomas.
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Craniofacial surgeon Professor David David. Portrait by Avril Thomas.

Craniofacial surgeon Professor David David. Portrait by Avril Thomas.
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Professor Paddy Phillips, Chief Medical Officer for South Australia. Portrait by Meg Brassil.

Professor Paddy Phillips, Chief Medical Officer for South Australia. Portrait by Meg Brassil.
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Thursday, 19 August 2010

The cream of South Australia's medical profession has been brought to life by two local artists in a specially commissioned art show celebrating the 125th anniversary of the University of Adelaide's Medical School.

Fifty-nine portraits of the State's best known medical personnel will be on display in Bonython Hall for four days from 30 August, thanks to the work of Avril Thomas and Meg Brassil.

The two artists have spent the past 12 months working around the clock, painting high-profile South Australians who have made a major contribution to medicine and health in this State.

A Day in the Life of Medicine includes:

  • Dr Basil Hetzel AC, a medical researcher and University of Adelaide graduate who has made a major contribution to combating iodine deficiency worldwide;

  • Associate Professor Bill Griggs AM, a trauma specialist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, 2009 South Australian of the Year, and inventor of the Griggs Technique for tracheotomies, a technique now used worldwide;

  • Professor Villis Marshall AC, internationally recognised urologist, prostate cancer specialist and kidney disease researcher;

  • Professor Dorothy Keefe, Clinical Director of the Royal Adelaide Hospital Cancer Centre who specialises in mucositis, the oral and gastrointestinal tract damage following chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The remaining 55 portraits cover subjects from a wide range of specialties and eras, including the co-founder of the University of Adelaide's Medical Program in 1885, Sir Joseph Verco, who was recognised as the leading physician in Adelaide in the late 1800s.

SA Health Minister the Hon. John Hill, who is among those captured on canvas, will officially open the exhibition next Monday 30 August. It runs until 2 September in Bonython Hall.

"This exhibition demonstrates the medical excellence that has transformed health care in South Australia, nationally and across the world," Minister Hill said.

The exhibition is part of a series of events to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Medical School, which has produced more than 6000 graduates since 1885, including two Nobel Laureates and 14 Rhodes Scholars.

Art Show times
Tuesday 31 August, 10.30am-3.30pm
Wednesday 1 September, 12.30pm-3.30pm
Thursday 2 September, 10.30-2.30pm

For more details about the 125th anniversary go to www.health.adelaide.edu.au/medicine125/

About the artists

Avril Thomas is a full-time artist based in South Australia who was selected as a finalist for the Archibald Prize in 2005 for her portrait of Alexander Downer.

She has entered previous Archibald Prize competitions with portraits of SA Premier Mike Rann, University of Adelaide frog expert Associate Professor Mike Tyler, well-known Adelaide identity Dr Joe Verco, TV personality Anne Wills and mountaineer Cheryl Bart.

Avril has also been commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to paint Her Excellency Marjorie Jackson-Nelson AC, former Governor of South Australia, and Anne Edwards, former Flinders University Vice-Chancellor. She has also been commissioned by Monash University for a series of academic portraits.

Avril's main focus is portraiture in charcoal, graphite pastel and oil. With a resume of over 80 private commissions, all with a tonal realist style, her works can be found in Hong Kong and the United States, as well as Australia.

Meg Brassil grew up in Sydney and studied painting under Mary Brady, three times winner of the Portia Geach Art Prize.

Now living in South Australia, she is a past finalist for the Heysen Art Prize, the Waterhouse Art Prize at the South Australian Museum in 2007, the Portia Geach Portrait Prize and in multiple categories of the Fleurieu Art Prize for landscape since 2001.

Her work includes landscapes, Australian native plants, portraits and still-life.

Since 2001 Meg has had annual solo exhibitions, participated in various group exhibitions and been invited to judge art shows.

She has painted Australian scientist and environmentalist Professor Tim Flannery, Patricia Pak Poy (the founding National Coordinator of the Australian Network of the international Campaign to ban landmines) and ABC presenter Fran Kelly.

Her work is held in collections in Australia, Canada, France and the United States.

 

Contact Details

Mr David Ellis
Email: david.ellis@adelaide.edu.au
Website: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/news/
Media and Communications Officer
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762