Dr Subrat Mishra’s Archibald Prize entry, a portrait of Paralympian Lakeisha Patterson is on its way to the Art Gallery of New South Wales for judging but, before it left his North Lakes studio, he gave his subject and Moreton Daily and sneak peek.
The abstract work, titled Lakeisha: Aqua and Gold, features the champion swimmer with a gold medal and in the pool alongside quotes which align with her personal philosophy.
It aims to celebrate her achievements but also inspire the next generation to follow her example of working hard to reach great heights on the international sporting stage.
Dr Mishra unveiled the portrait for Patterson to see on Sunday.
It was a first for Patterson, but an experience she said she was humbled to enjoy.
“This is definitely new territory for me. I have not been asked by someone to do a portrait of myself before let alone for the Archibald Prize,” she said.
“It’s definitely a massive honour. It’s been really incredible working with Subrat, hearing his story and how art has inspired him. To be able to work alongside him and keep it local for such a big project is pretty special.”
What did she think of the portrait?
“I think it’s definitely unique and encapsulates a lot of the areas of my life that I resonate with but to see it portrayed in a portrait is pretty unique and different. I think he’s done an incredible job and is definitely incredibly talented,” she says.
“A massive congratulations to him … a lot of hard work and commitment but an incredible result.”
Dr Mishra, of Deception Bay Doctors, said he wasn’t nervous ahead of the unveiling just excited.
“I think I’ve done a good job. Especially her and her expression, especially the eyes. You can see the blue and green and it shows the confidence in her … and the smile,” he said.
His initial sketch was taken from a photo in which Patterson wasn’t smiling and Dr Mishra felt something was missing.
After meeting her, he realised she needed to be smiling in the portrait.
“When I met her, she’s a bubbly person … that smile. She’s confident and she’s happy, so that’s her happy personality and that’s what I wanted to show,” he said.
Celebrating young people
The work is part of a broader project he is working on to celebrate young achievers in the region which aims to inspire young people who are often portrayed negatively in the media.
Patterson said she was proud to be the first achiever featured.
“It’s really humbling, to be seen in that light as someone who is a vision for hope for the future. There are a lot of incredible young leaders and people in our community these days that we don’t necessarily hear about that are doing incredible things,” she said.
“On the other side, there are a lot of challenges, I guess, facing our young community these days. Hopefully, showcasing a project like this does inspire other people and get the message out there that no matter what you’re facing in your life … the challenges … there are always detours around them and there are possibilities in life to reach the goals that you want to reach.
“You just have to work incredibly hard and have people in your corner to look out for you. That’s all it takes, one person who’s willing to invest in you and that’s how change occurs.
“Being able to talk about it and promote it, and Subrat’s doing an incredible job of doing that through his art and finding a different medium to be able to inspire others, is really unique and special.”
The Archibald Prize finalists and Packing Room Prize winner will be announced on April 27, with the Archibald Prize winner announced on May 5. The ANZ People’s Choice winner will be announced on August 9.
Dr Mishra will also enter the work in the Brisbane Portrait Prize and art competitions in the Moreton Bay Region. So, expect to see Patterson’s portrait on show across South East Queensland this year.
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