Thoughts immured

Finalist Portia Geach Memorial Prize. Exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra online collection. In private collection.

At the time I did this portrait, John Maclean was a professional wheelchair athlete. He has a deep emotional resilience that I find compelling.

While sitting for this portrait John was training for the Hawaiian Ultraman. He was often tired and preoccupied. While he dozed I got really close and stared at him for long moments. For all that time I never knew what he was thinking, so I worked to show the reflection and the deep contemplation emanating from him.

In 2014 after 22 years as a paraplegic, John learnt to walk again. You can read his story here.