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Chancellor portrait unveiled

portrait of john dornbusch
Chancellor John Dornbusch and artist Brodie Taylor.

Chancellor Dornbusch has served on the University Council for more than two decades and was appointed Chancellor in March 2014.

Throughout his tenure, he has had a significant influence on several major initiatives, including the establishment of campuses at Springfield and Ipswich.

When the long-serving Chancellor was asked who he would like to paint his official portrait, it was an easy decision to choose University of Southern Queensland alumnus and Curator (Arts and Exhibitions) Brodie Taylor.

And so it began, a three-month process from the first sitting to the final paint stroke.

The painting will adorn the walls of the University’s Council Chambers alongside former Chancellors Dr Allison Dickson AO, Dr Don Stevens AM, and Dr Bobbie Brazil AO.

Chancellor Dornbusch said it would be humbling to see the portrait next to those of his predecessors.

“I am proud to be recognised for my time at the University of Southern Queensland in this way,” he said.

“It has been a significant part of my life and a real honour to do the job.”

The portrait, which took hundreds of hours to complete, is painted with oil on canvas formulated in the 17th-century glaze technique.

“This technique is about building translucent washes of oil paint on top of each other to get a depth of colour and detail,” Mr Taylor said.

It was a special piece for the artist to produce.

“John has been the Chancellor at the University my entire student and working life,” Mr Taylor said.

“He presented me with my testamur when I graduated. It meant a lot to me to be able to do this for him – a tribute to the work he has put into the University.”

Before the painting began, a few components were essential for the sitter and the artist.

“John wanted the chair in the portrait, which was donated by inaugural Chancellor Allison Dickson AO,” Mr Taylor said.

“I wanted him to be in the robes and for him to be standing. He is not an inactive participant – he is a driving force.

“And one component essential in the portrait is his wedding ring, for his wife Margaret, who has been an incredible support to him.”