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The Mark Shuttleworth Portrait

Mark Shuttleworth

Artist: Taf [Tafadzwa Mukwashi]
Polytich, oil on canvas
279mm x 356mm, 279mm x 356mm, 279mm x 356mm, 279mm x 356mm

Mark Shuttleworth, the first African in space and groundbreaking entrepreneur, takes us to the 12th portrait of Facing a Century by the artist, Taf [Tafadzwa Mukwashi]. The dichromatic polytich in cadmium yellow and cobalt blue is an impasto, textured oil painting on four individual box canvasses.

Mark was born in Welkom and grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. In the final year of his degree in Finance and Information Systems at the University of Cape Town, Mark founded Thawte – a company that, being the fastest-growing internet certificate authority worldwide and the leading certificate authority outside of the USA, was acquired by VeriSign just four years later.

Mark Shuttleworth is ‘passionate about the triple thrusts of cadence, design and quality in open source’ and has gone on to become the founder of the Ubuntu Project and Canonical. He is the founder of the investment company HBD (Here Be Dragons) and the Shuttleworth Foundation – a non-profit organization ‘that accelerates social innovation in Africa with a particular focus on education’ and whose aim is to ‘support exceptional people to change the world in extraordinary ways.’

For many of us, the most awe-inspiring leap into unmarked territory that Mark Shuttleworth has made was in 2002, in the First African in Space project. After months of training at Star City in Russia, he became a member of the crew of Soyuz TM-34 and launched into space from Baikonur in Kazakhstan to carry out an 8-day mission on the International Space Station (ISS). This moment in Facing a Century is of a proudly African boy who really did grow up to become an astronaut.

As he continues to live his life, he has taken a liking to ‘spring, cesaria evora, slashdot, chelsea, finally seeing something obvious for the first time, daydreaming, coming home, sinatra, sundowners, durbanville, flirting, string theory, particle physics, linux, python, mp3s, reincarnation, snow, mig-29s, travel, lime marmalade, mozilla, body shots, leopards, the african bush, rajhastan, snowboarding, russian saunas, weightlessness, broadband, iain m banks, alastair reynolds, skinny-dipping, fancy dress, flashes of insight, inexplicable happinesses, post-adrenaline euphoria, convertibles, country roads, clifton, the international space station, artificial intelligence, wikipedia, kitesurfing, manx lanes.’

Mark Shuttleworth, thank you for becoming a part of this Journey, and for proving that it is possible to touch the sky and all the possibilities beyond it.
[Many thanks to Claire Newman!]

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