About the artwork and sitter
This portrait is a tribute to Ian Byford, a LGBTIQ+ writer and activists, who spent many years in Brisbane, and now lives in Cairns.
The artist, Steven Jansen says: “Ian Byford is a remarkable human being and friend. At 85 he still maintains his sharp wit and larrikin personality. He is known for being an outspoken supporter of social issues.
“Ian has an extremely expressive face. I wanted to capture an all too familiar mischievous glint that he gets in his eyes. In the painting, he is wearing a caftan he still owns and which was his regular attire in his younger years. I have painted him at home in his lounge room, amongst some of his most prized possessions as well as a copy of the book ‘Passing Glances’ which he researched and wrote, on the table next to him.”
About the artist
Originally from South Africa, Steven Jansen had a corporate career before becoming an artists. “Battling a lifetime of depression, I emerged from the closet at 45. With that new freedom, I rediscovered my passion for art and with that the awakening of my soul and in so doing rediscovered myself. I paint purely for my own pleasure.”