West End Artist Rhonda Hodge has asked emerging fashion designer Alyssia McDonald (20) @AlyssiaTheLabel (on Instagram) to be her sitter for the Brisbane Portrait Prize. The specifications of the Brisbane Portrait Prize are that the artist chooses someone of significance in Brisbane.

Alyssia is the only Australian to have ever won the International Design Award in LA for her original bridal jumpsuit design. Last year, she accepted The Gold Award in Hollywood. She is a proud TAFE Queensland ambassador and she enjoys speaking to prospective students and their families.

Alyssia has a strong sense of social justice and she has regularly donated her own oil and acrylic paintings to causes such as Cancer, Victims of crime, and children in third world countries to help raise funds. She is currently researching ethical clothing production and rescuing women from human trafficking. Alyssia sews all her designs in her tiny studio in Brisbane but hopes to expand her business and incorporate supporting women in Indonesia or Cambodia.

Alyssia and Rhonda both share a passion for ethical production and fair treatment for all people. Alyssia is thrilled to be the subject of Rhonda’s Portrait and feels privileged to have been chosen.

Rhonda Hodge is a Brisbane based artist who worked for many years in industry as a graphic designer before returning to University to achieve her Masters of Creative Arts degree. She said it took her from creating designs under the direction and approval of others to creating her own unique art giving her an incredible sense of freedom to explore her own style and interests. She has had the privilege of studying her craft abroad in Germany and America and exhibiting both locally and overseas.

Many of Rhonda’s artworks have been sold and commissioned for both public and private collections. She continues to look for new challenges and often finds her creative journey taking her to emotionally surprising places with each new project stretching her to create new stories through artistic expression.

She says, “My aim is to make art that evokes an emotional connection for the viewer. I seek to engage the audience in an immersive experience, particularly around the concept of belief structures. I want to provide a sensory engagement for the onlooker by using ambiguous symbolism offering multiple interpretations that often relate to questions around our purpose here on earth.”

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