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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.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Professor Mandyam Srinivasan

2014
Sam Leach

oil and resin on plywood (frame: 65.5 cm x 50.5 cm, support: 61.0 cm x 46.0 cm)

Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan AM, PhD, DSc, FAA, FRS, FRIN (b. 1948) is Emeritus Professor within the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland. Born in Pune, India, he completed his undergraduate degree at the Indian Institute of Science before gaining a doctorate in engineering and applied science at Yale. In Australia from 1978, he was a Research Fellow at the Australian National University, and completed his DSc in the ANU's Research School of Biological Sciences in 1994. Since 1985, his research has focused on exploring the way that insects, especially bees, perceive and move within the three-dimensional world. 'They're beautiful navigators, and one of the challenges for us as scientists is how do they actually do this? What are the techniques these insects take with these tiny brains?' Srinivasan says. His research has informed projects such as the development of autonomous aircraft navigation systems for clients such as NASA.

Sam Leach's paintings typically examine the relationship between science, nature and technology, and are characterised by their modest scale and fine detail. Leach spent a day with Srinivasan and his team at their lab in Brisbane, observing and photographing them at work. Srinivasan says that Leach has captured his 'sense of enjoyment' in this work – which also includes a 'beautifully detailed, meticulous portrait' of one of Srinivasan's own subjects.

Commissioned with funds provided by Marilyn Darling AC 2014
© Sam Leach

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. Works of art from the collection are reproduced as per the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The use of images of works from the collection may be restricted under the Act. Requests for a reproduction of a work of art can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

Artist and subject

Sam Leach (age 41 in 2014)

Mandyam Veerambudi Srinivasan AM (age 66 in 2014)

Supported by

Marilyn Darling AC (30 portraits supported)

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.

Mandyam Srinivasan

'Hive minds'

Portrait story

An interview with Professor of Visual Neuroscience, University of Queensland, Mandyam Srinivasan.

A surface against which we can move, 2014 by Sam Leach
A surface against which we can move, 2014 by Sam Leach
A surface against which we can move, 2014 by Sam Leach
A surface against which we can move, 2014 by Sam Leach

No small wonder

Magazine article by Joanna Gilmour, 2015

Joanna Gilmour describes how artist Sam Leach works on a small scale to grand effect.

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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 past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency