Bravery of migrants honoured on canvas
14 Jan 11 @ 10:43am by Julia Irwin
Artist Anne Warren.
Her winning oil painting, For My Children, shows a migrant women and her children walking along a beach in front of brightly-coloured beach boxes, including one with an Australian flag painted on it.
“I have painted the family in sepia and this makes them look alien and a bit displaced,” Warren said.
The contrast between the sepia-toned family and the colourful scene encourages the viewer to question whether it is the family or the new land that is foreign.
Warren said much of her understanding of the migrant experience came through her parents, who migrated to Australia in 1954 because there was no work in postwar Greece.
“They arrived with three children and rented a room from an Indian family in Fitzroy,” she said. “They struggled with the language and missed their family in Greece terribly … they saved enough money to buy a house.”
Warren said she inherited her parents’ sense of adventure, beginning a new career as an artist in her 50s. She completed a fine arts degree at RMIT in 2009 and will this year start teaching digital imaging at Arts Project Australia in Northcote.
Tales of the Greek Migrant, A Modern Odyssey, Hellenic Museum, 280 William St, Melbourne, until January 28.