10 Sep 2008 00:00:00.000
A portrait of Professor Sir Peter Mansfield will be unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery on Friday 12 September 2008.
Sir Peter was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2003 for his contribution to the invention of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). His vision and research have made widespread clinical use of the technique a reality. MRI scanners are today used in hospitals all over the world and it is estimated that over 60 million investigations with MRI are carried out every year.
The portrait of Sir Peter, by BP Portrait Prize winning artist Stephen Shankland,
was developed through a series of meetings between artist and sitter initiated in September 2007.
Click here for full story
Sir Peter said: “To have my portrait specially commissioned and hanging in the National Portrait Gallery is a great honour. I haven’t seen the finished portrait yet but I am very happy with what I have seen so far. My family and I are all looking forward to the unveiling on Friday.”
Sir Peter Mansfield is pictured behind his desk in his office at the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre at The University of Nottingham, a building inextricably linked to the pioneering work that led to his joint Nobel Prize in 2003. A great admirer of Sir Peter Mansfield’s pioneering work, the fact that Shankland’s own child underwent MRI scans as a baby, made him a particularly sympathetic artist to undertake this commission.
Stephen said: “I chose his office because it best reflected his life at the University. When I asked him why there were so many cardboard boxes of stuff lying around his office he told me that in 1994 he retired and began to pack up ready for his departure. Our last meeting was 29 January 2008 and the boxes still sit as they were packed 14 years ago! This for me was an insight into Sir Peter’s character. He appears so involved with his work that you get a sense he is immersed, almost barricaded by his desk of paperwork, not wishing to leave.”
British physicist Sir Peter Mansfield was born in south east London in 1933. He left school at 15 to become a printer; he took A Levels at night school and progressed to Queen Mary College, London, graduating with a BSc in 1959 and a PhD in 1962. He was jointly awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine alongside Professor Paul Lauterbur. Knighted in 1993, Sir Peter is the recipient of numerous scientific prizes and has been a professor in the Department of Physics at The University of Nottingham since 1979.
Stephen Shankland is a Scottish artist and former graphic designer living and working in Aberdeenshire. He studied at Grays School of Art and won the 2004 BP Portrait Award for a portrait entitled The Miracle, a sensitive study of his wife with their son Connor, who was born with a life threatening diaphragmatic hernia in 2003. Connor had an MRI scan which had detected the best course of surgery for him, which demonstrates a link between The Miracle and this new portrait of Sir Peter.
He said: “When I worked on Sir Peter's portrait I had a feeling of a circle being completed, winning the BP Portrait and its subsequent commission. For me, the final addition of the postcard of my winning BP portrait The Miracle [on Sir Peter’s desk] completed the painting. It symbolises the whole reason I was painting Sir Peter in the first place.”
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London said: “Stephen Shankland’s portrait of Sir Peter Mansfield is the latest of the BP Portrait Award commissions. It is a fascinating image of an exceptional scientific achiever.”
The portrait was commissioned by the Trustees and made possible with support from BP as part of the annual BP Portrait Exhibition. It will be on display to the public at the National Portrait Gallery from Saturday 13 September 2008.
— Ends —
Notes to Editors:
The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 70 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.
It provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.
Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation - School of Pharmacy).
Its students are much in demand from 'blue-chip' employers. Winners of Students in Free Enterprise for four years in succession, and current holder of UK Graduate of the Year, they are accomplished artists, scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, innovators and fundraisers. Nottingham graduates consistently excel in business, the media, the arts and sport. Undergraduate and postgraduate degree completion rates are amongst the highest in the United Kingdom.
To download images: www.npg.org.uk/press
National Portrait Gallery opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10am – 6pm (Gallery closure commences at 5.50pm) Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10am – 9pm (Gallery closure commences at 8.50pm) Nearest Underground: Leicester Square/Charing Cross Recorded information: 020 7312 2463 General information: 020 7306 0055 Website: www.npg.org.uk