‘Red Terra’ – Black Activist: A portrait of Gary Foley, 2006 by Rod McNicol

image of ‘Red Terra’ – Black Activist: A portrait of Gary Foley 2006 by Rod McNicol

Artist's statement

From the very beginning of my photographic career, when I studied photography at Prahran College (Melbourne) in the 1970s, portraiture has been the central focus of my work. I have always been drawn to portraiture that is very direct, and this portrait of Gary Foley is no exception. Historically, however, my sitters for the most part have been anonymous, so in this respect this portrait is an exception as Gary does have a high profile. Along with my characteristic direct gaze, I have sought to make strong use of colour in this particular work. The term Red Terra in the title was, by happy coincidence, the brand name for the colour I chose to use for background.