Joe spent nearly 50 years in various institutions. His memory survives through the work of one of his nurses, Pete Jones from Bangor, who is also a portrait artist. The portrait will now be featured by the BBC as part of a series of short film documentaries.
A Hidden Portrait, directed by Paul Hunt, is the remarkable story of Joe Bevans from Pembrokeshire who was taken away from his family at the age of 15 as he had learning difficulties, and subsequently spent over 50 years in long-term care institutions all over Wales, latterly at Bryn y Neuadd hospital in Llanfairfechan.
Joe’s story would have been forgotten forever if it wasn’t for the portrait, Pete said: “Joe was quite an important figure in terms of the hospital, I was aware of how significant he was in terms of being an everyman figure.
“I wanted to portray his spirit and give him some dignity, I hope the paintings done that. I tried to capture the glint in his eye, it’s a sheer human spirit.”
A Hidden Portrait will be shown on BBC2 Wales on Monday 19th February 2018 at 23:15 and will then be available on iPlayer