When John Acland retired he was managing director of Williamson’s Diamond Mine Ltd in Tanzania, having turned it from being a failed mine into a highly profitable organisation. After cutting his teeth as a miner in northern Canada he trained at the Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall before a career that took him from South Africa and Botswana to Angola, Namibia and Tanzania before changing direction and becoming an olive farmer in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Petur is Head of Classical Guitar at the Iceland Academy of the Arts. He studied classical guitar in Mexico and Spain. He is a performer of contemporary music as well as more traditional repertoire. He has an interest in music technology, plays in a rock band and is currently studying for a PhD at the Royal College of Music. He divides his time between London and Reykjavik.
Nicholas Serota’s studies moved from economics to art history before he became Director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London. He was appointed Director of the Tate in 1988 and was responsible for the conversion of Bankside Power Station into Tate Modern, one of the world’s most successful art gallery spaces. Since 2017 he has been Chair of Arts Council England. In this conversation we explore the challenges and opportunities we have both experienced in our careers.
Tony Saner’s first degree was from South Africa’s only veterinary school. He practised as a vet, then took up a Rhodes Scholarship to study cardiac physiology at the University of Oxford before returning to South Africa to study medicine. His long career as a general practitioner was profoundly shaped by his time as a GP trainee in Norfolk. Five years ago he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma but despite all predictions remains alive and well. In this conversation we explore the implications of changing career paths, discuss the nature of general practice and hospital medicine and talk about the impact of serious illness in our own lives.