The West

When artist Jana Vodesil-Baruffi met Bali bombing survivor Phil Britten she was fascinated by his ability to reinvent himself through the tragedy.

"You have a tragedy like that, you have a lot of anger," she said.

"For a while he was a bit confused, he didn't know what he wanted to do with himself . . . he met (his wife) Rebecca and decided to do some good stuff with the experience he had."

The result is a striking painting of Mr Britten that Vodesil-Baruffi hopes to enter in next year's Archibald Prize.

The no-holds-barred artwork does not shy away from Mr Britten's injuries, showing the deep scars on his back and arms that he carries 10 years on from the atrocity.

In his arms is his baby son Riley.

"It's really about a new life," Vodesil-Baruffi said.

"He can give that wisdom and experience to his son."

Vodesil-Baruffi said she met Mr Britten when she painted his wife Rebecca as part of her Permanent Impressions project to create portraits of 50 women who had contributed to WA.

She said the project featured women drawn from last year's WA Women's Hall of Fame inductees, including Mrs Britten, Paralympian Priya Cooper, Chief Scientist Lyn Beazley and tennis great Margaret Court.

Vodesil-Baruffi hopes to get support to tour the exhibition to 10 regional towns.

She said she read Mr Britten's book about his experience in Bali and tried to portray him in the portrait as he saw himself.

The West Australian

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