Artwork Description

Oil on canvas, stretched and ready to hang.

Signed on the front.

I caught up with Paul—for the first time in a couple of years—a few days after his return from working overseas in offshore detention. I could see how deeply affected he was and I wanted to capture the range of emotions he was feeling: sheer exhaustion, confusion, anger, incredible sadness, and hope.

Throughout my long-time friendship with Paul, I’ve seen him throw himself into a variety of intense humanitarian work environments, from working with children with life limiting conditions, to victims of trafficking, to refugees. It wasn’t surprising to see him going to work abroad and yet again exposing his emotional well-being to utter oppression and suffering.

I wanted the painting to show the constant challenge of working with people in trauma while being sure to not live others’ trauma or be overwhelmed by it. The work also represents the battle to protect against transference of trauma.

While at first very reluctant to be put in the spotlight, he agreed when he realised the attention that could be brought to a subject he is so passionate about while also giving a face to the faceless men, women, and children being held in transit in refugee camps around the world.

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Oil on canvas

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Stretched and ready to hang

This artwork is currently stretched and ready to hang.

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Brittany Jones

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