This portrait by John Tsiavis is of Tan Le, an innovator in the field of neurotechnology.
This is a complex construction of a 1.2 metre diameter, circular photograph of Tan on a mirror surface, sandwiched between thick layers of highly reflective, translucent materials and lit from behind by an LED lightbox. This causes Tan’s image to blur significantly unless viewed directly, front on. The work’s dark lustrous surface reflects the viewer and any other people or elements in the surrounding environment. The slender circular frame encompassing the work is a glossy black.

Within this circle the background is a deep velvet black. Tan is seated slightly right of centre, her body turned towards the left of the image, her head held high and her eyes looking directly at the viewer. Her hands are resting on her knee at the lower edge of the photograph.

Tan’s long dark hair is only just visible against the dark background. The faintest touch of light illuminates it as it curves gently from a side part around her face and falls in soft waves over her shoulders.

Tan’s face is angled with her chin tilted slightly upwards, turning towards us. Her warm honey-toned skin glows in contrast against the darkness. She has a high forehead and carefully shaped, arching eyebrows. Her makeup is immaculately applied; shimmering copper eyeshadow, black eyeliner and mascara enhancing her dark brown, almond shaped eyes. A tinge of pink has been dusted over her high cheekbones. Lower on her cheek is a small mole. Tan’s nose is straight and delicate and her full lips, painted with rose coloured gloss, are slightly parted. There is a second, larger mole beneath her lips on the round of her chin.

Tan’s neck is long and slender, framed by her dark hair and the rounded neckline of her black dress. The dress is fitted, with sleeves ending just above the elbow. The dark fabric is covered with intricate patterns embroidered in black thread. Sections of leather on the chest and arm, with the same designs, add subtle variations of texture and detail.

Tan’s hands rest on her knee. The fingers on her right hand are widely spaced and curved, while the left hand is relaxed closer to her body. On her left ring finger two rings sparkle, light catching the white metal and faceted stones

Audio description written by Lucinda Shawcross and ready by Amy Middleby