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FINALIST — Brisbane Portrait Prize

Kayla Tyson began rapping during a very political time in Australia, when the Apology was delivered. Always having something to say, rapping was a way to reach out without anger. Of this portrait, Pound says, “Kayla’s eyes smoulder as a young woman burdened with the societal issues concerning culture, past and present. I included an aura in the indigenous flag colours as she radiates the TRUTH through her lyrics and commitment to her community.”


Even though I know the sitter, the first stage of my creative process involved researching Kayla as a rap artist. I am not au fait with the genre but gained an appreciation of the emotion and attitude in which she delivers her stories and messages. 


In particular, her song “Forever now” (lyrics depicted on her shirt) influenced and motivated this piece. Kayla’s eyes became the focus, as they resonate her frustration with a seemingly endless struggle against racism, homophobia, anti-feminism and cultural bias over the generations.

Kayla #1

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