Nigel Brennan and I started our careers together, meeting as first-year students at the Queensland College of Art, Australia. As we attempted to hone our craft we at times worked and lived together, becoming fixtures in each other’s lives and families. In 2008 Nigel was kidnapped while working in Somalia and spent 15 months in captivity. I thought he was a goner, although through his and his family’s extraordinary determination he survived, going on to publish a memoir of his triumph. On a recent trip home to Australia I talked my old friend into a portrait sitting, setting up my lights in his lounge room after a night of old tales and old friends. As I embark on a period of portraiture, it was too fitting to start it with Nigel, back in Brisbane where we started our careers together.