Wednesday, 24 October 2012


I thought I had lost this small painting, entitled "REFUGE" when a fire at our local arts center last month turned beautiful works of art, valuable equipment, hard-earned resources, our pottery library, and files full of important records into smouldering heaps of ash.  It is still hard to come to terms with the destruction of a place my husband and I had worked so hard to build up, along with many of our fellow artists and art-lovers.

As I walked through the gutted rooms of the Arts Centre the day after the fire, I discovered "REFUGE", along with several other original works of art, still safe and sound in the corner of a room that had escaped major damage from both flames and fireman's hose.  A small bright spot in the middle of a dark day...

"REFUGE" was painted in acrylics on traditional Fijian masi, a thick, cloth-like paper made from the inner bark of tropical mulberry trees.  I mounted the painting on a 15 x 15 inch board which was covered in scraps of recycled masi to create an organic texture, then painted white.

Here's what I wrote about "REFUGE":
While not exactly the idyllic white sandy beaches the tourists are after, the mangrove swamps that fringe Fiji’s coast in many areas are vital to the well being of our ecosystems.  Tangles of tall, arching aerial roots provide a natural refuge for breeding fish, crabs, and other marine organisms that are part of the local food chain.  Mangroves also protect coastal land from wave and storm surge erosion.  Yet in many parts of Fiji, developers are clearing away these vital natural habitats to make way for yet another hotel or factory!  “Refuge” was painted as a reminder that our planet will only continue to be a safe haven for all of us if ‘progress’ means respecting and caring for our natural environment.

Happily, "REFUGE" was only back in our studio for a couple of weeks before it caught the eye of a visiting art buyer.  Now that the original has left our shores, I have made this work of art available as a museum-quality art print through my page on Fine Art America.  Click on the link below for details...


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