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Duncan Pegg by Yu Chao Du

Ducan Pegg

Yu Chao Du

About the artwork and sitter

Duncan Pegg was elected as the Queensland MP for Stretton in 2015. He was known as an active local member, warm, energetic and hard working. Yu Chao Du lived locally, knew him well and was deeply impressed by his devotion to the local community. In 2017, Duncan was recognised for his community work and received the QLD Public Service Award.

“Last October, I asked Duncan to be my sitter for this year’s Brisbane Portrait Prize Competition. He happily agreed and soon we arranged the sitting in his office. Sadly a few months later Duncan became seriously ill and passed away in June 2021. This portrait is my way of paying tribute to Duncan Pegg.”

About the artist

Yu Chao Du is a Chinese born Australian artist and designer. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Guangzhou Art Academy in China in 1985. His art works have been exhibited in China, Japan, Korea and Australia. His recent solo exhibition “Doll Park” was held at Logan Art Gallery in June this year.

“I used free and broad brushstrokes to capture Duncan' s vibrant personality and his passion for his work”

Behind the scenes

Duncan was a politician, but to me he was more like a friend. I remember our meeting for his portrait sitting in October last year. After I took some photos of him, we talked about a lot of issues. From Covid-19 to multiculturalism, from the future development of our community to international politics. I was deeply impressed by his open-minded attitude and his enthusiasm for public service.

In the portrait of Duncan Pegg, I used free and broad brushstrokes to capture Duncan’ s vibrant personality and his passion for his work. In June of this year, the Duncan’s portrait painting was still in the process of creation and I was deeply shocked by the news of Duncan’s death. Such a wonderful life ended suddenly! Then I decided to leave the lower part of the portrait in the unfinished state and changed the colour of the portrait to a purple tone. Purple here symbolised the miraculous and sad sides of life.