Graham Fagen

A Portrait of Sir Geoff Palmer

15 March – 19 April 2024

MattFlix is pleased to present A Portrait of Sir Geoff Palmer (2023) by Graham Fagen.

A Portrait of Sir Geoff Palmer tells the story of the renowned human rights activist and scientist, Professor Sir Geoff Palmer.

In this single channel video portrait, Graham Fagen portrays Sir Geoff’s story as he talks about his life. Sir Geoff Palmer OBE left Jamaica for the UK in 1955, and pursued his studies at Leicester, Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt universities. As a scientist, his work at the Brewing Research Foundation led to the discovery of the barley abrasion process. For this research, he was awarded the American Society of Brewing Chemists Award of Distinction in 1998. He is also a prominent human rights activist, and has studied slavery links between Scotland and the Caribbean for the last 15 years, contributing notably with the book The Enlightenment Abolished: Citizens of Britishness (2007).

Fagen’s portrait breaks the boundaries of what we think of as traditional portraiture and, in his words, "attempts to expand our perceptions of portraiture in the age of the selfie."

Each chapter of Sir Geoff Palmer’s life is punctuated by the sounds of Nyabinghi drumming and vocals by reggae artist Ghetto Priest, produced by Adrian Sherwood.

A Portrait of Sir Geoff Palmer was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and supported by the Royal Scottish Academy Sir William Gillies Bequest Award.

Duration: 19′37″



Andy McGregor

Lee Richardson

Hamish Brown

Production/Covid supervision
Tracy Wedderburn


Vocals and Nyabinghi drums
Ghetto Priest

Adrian Sherwood

Matt Symth