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Victoria Atkinson Trent mango tree, all the colours of the rainbow, Trent

acrylic on canvas

101.5 x 76 x 4 cm

The subject of Victoria Atkinson’s portrait is Liberal politician Trent Zimmerman, the Member for North Sydney in the Australian Parliament.

Atkinson is an artist at Studio A, a social enterprise in Sydney that supports professional artists with intellectual disability. She is known for her paintings and textiles, marked by bold colour and energetic, rhythmic linework.

She says she painted Zimmerman ‘because he’s a nice man, I’ve known him a long time. He’s handsome and he’s gay. I like meeting Trent because he is like me – I’m a lady who would like a girlfriend.’

Zimmerman went to Studio A for the sitting. Atkinson did several sketches and took photographs. She included a mango tree to add something ‘special’ for Zimmerman. ‘I also painted a dog kennel for Trent’s dog Simba to sleep in.’

She describes the portrait as ‘a colourful rainbow. Trent and I are both Rainbow Love,’ she says, referring to their sexual identity.

She chose bright yellow for the background to make the painting ‘happy’ and to radiate ‘a good attitude, like Trent’. ‘I love using colours because it makes my heart happy.’

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