We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

🛈 In line with NSW Health advice, the Art Gallery is temporarily closed to the public. Stay updated on our social media.

Title

The Sea of Untold Stories II

2019

Artist

Desmond Lazaro

Australia, India, England

1968 –

Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
Alternate image of The Sea of Untold Stories II by Desmond Lazaro
  • Details

    Date
    2019
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    natural pigments, indigo-dyed cotton cloth, gold leaf
    Dimensions
    120.0 x 600.0 cm
    Credit
    Lawrence Hinchliffe Bequest Fund 2019
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    136.2019
    Copyright
    © Desmond Lazaro

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Desmond Lazaro

    Works in the collection

    1

    Share
  • About

    The indigo surface, pure blue, seems to go on forever… The golden sea, where each individual wave, a brushstroke, is painted as a meditation, a meditation on grief, loss, having to face what it actually feels like to lose someone, be it a nameless migrant or family member.
    – Desmond Lazaro

    The Sea of Untold Stories was created in the pichhavai tradition of devotional painting on cloth. It is an emotional response to the plight of migrants making perilous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea.
    The shamsa (sunburst) at the centre emulates a symbol on the passport that Lazaro’s grandfather used for his journey from Burma (now Myanmar) to London in the 1950s. The motif is also often found in the pages of the Koran. The figures below – some carrying suitcases and plastic bags – are drops of water in a vast and overwhelming sea of gold. Stars guide those crossing oceans, deserts and continents in the quest for a better life. One of the figures steadily transcends this world, gradually morphing into a star. Inspired by the ancient Chinese Dunhuang Star Atlas, and the Sanskrit manuscript 'Jewel of the essence of all sciences' (c1840), Lazaro has turned the grief of unimaginable loss into the light of transcendental hope.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition