‘Three Oncologists’ was Ken Currie’s first official portrait commission. As the oncologists were unable to gather together for multiple portrait sittings he made life masks as a record of their appearance. However, Currie has stated that the commission was about more than recording likenesses. He spent many hours observing Sir Alfred Cuschieri and Professor Robert Steele in the operating theatre. Currie’s interaction with his subjects has enabled him to communicate an understanding of the nature and purpose of their work. In a conversation with the artist, Sir David Lane remarked that in his experience people see cancer as a form of “darkness”, from which it is an oncologist’s job to retrieve people.