Penrose portrait unveiled

Date Published: 16.12.2021

A portrait of Wadham Emeritus Fellow Sir Roger Penrose, Nobel Laureate in Physics, has been unveiled.

Sir Roger Penrose by Jennifer Anderson

Welcomed by the Warden Robert Hannigan, Sir Roger and guests attended the unveiling ceremony in the Senior Common Room, accompanied by the artist Jennifer Anderson.

The portrait depicts Sir Roger seated, looking up towards a background of the non-repeating patterns which he created.  

Sir Roger has made outstanding contributions to the mathematical physics of general relativity and cosmology. His many prizes and awards, include the 1988 Wolf Prize in Physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for the Penrose–Hawking singularity theorems, and one half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity". He is well known for his 1974 discovery of Penrose tilings, which are formed from two tiles that can only tile the plane non-periodically, and are the first tilings to exhibit fivefold rotational symmetry. An example can be found in the floor tiles at the rear of Webb Quad.

Artist Jennifer Anderson was born in Glasgow, where she continues to live and work in the city’s West End. She has exhibited widely throughout the UK and internationally in New York, Singapore, Florida, Zurich, and Toronto. Jennifer has received a number of awards including the HSBC Investment Management Award for artists under 35 at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, and the David Cargill award at the Royal Glasgow Institute.  She has been regularly selected for the BP Portrait Award and has been invited to exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Commenting on her work she writes: “I want to create an intimate relationship between the viewer and the subject. Through use of pose, body language and mood, I want to focus the viewer’s gaze on the subject so that they can allow themselves a pure emotional reaction that speaks as much of their own feelings and experiences as of those they interpret in the subject they are regarding.”

This wonderful portrait will be hung in Wadham’s Dining Hall in the near future.

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