Professor Neville Marsh – An Unfinished Story
Archibald Portrait Prize Entry 2012
This portrait is titled “An Unfinished Story” for the reason that anyone who knows Professor Marsh would agree that as one project closes in his life the next-door opens to his newest challenge. It is for this reason that I left the shelf behind Professor Marsh on the right hand side bare, as a space for the next instalment of his future pursuits.
“Professor Neville Marsh was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Adelaide in 2003 and held the position until 2006. He has contributed greatly to our understanding of the pathophysiology of haemostasis, publishing over 200 articles on bleeding and thrombotic disorders, in addition to a monograph on fibrinolysis. His research interest was the Gaboon Viper, one of the world’s most poisonous snakes, and is considered one of the world’s leading experts on this snake.” University of Adelaide website 4/7/2012.
Professor Marsh has many accomplished achievements in his careers, and despite this, he remains a very humble man.
Always open to lend a helping hand whether it is his grandchildren or the local community, Neville will usually find a way to resolve an issue or lead the way to discovering the answer.
When the Queensland Floods hit the Moggill area in Brisbane, Neville was one of the first on hand in the Flood Relief Centre, working at the ‘front desk’, looking after the database of the evacuees and volunteers. His experience with these people and the amazing stories he was privy to, inspired Neville to write a book (“Island in the Flood”) about the experiences of the Moggill community, and donates all profits from the book back into the rehabilitation of flood victims in Bellbowrie, Moggill and Anstead.
He reminds us that despite our achievements and accolades we accumulate in our lifetime and careers, we are all human and can all use our strengths to lend a hand when we are most stripped bare to our essentials and then some.
NOTES ON PORTRAIT EXPERIENCE
This portrait was painted over a time of a twelve-month period. Prof Marsh sat for me three times, in which sketches and drawings were completed in various poses, enabling the selection of the current pose. Once this pose was selected, Prof Marsh also sat for the painting of this portrait in my studio here in Canberra.
I chose his office as a setting as much of his work is now done from here, his laptop is never too far away, and is at arm’s reach when he requires research facilities or documentation on a current project. It has a relaxed feel to the office, a welcoming ambience that was inviting to the creative process.