The subject of Pam Hallandal’s drawing is the human drama of the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami of Boxing Day 2004. One of the deadliest natural disasters to be recorded, it resulted in the deaths of over 230,000 people principally in Indonesia, with many also in Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. At the time of the event Hallandal had been drawing in the bush and emerged unknowing to news of the catastrophe, which affected her deeply.
'This Tsunami series started with the devastating events of 2004 and I’ve been working on it ever since … In the intervening years there have been all sorts of catastrophes – floods and hurricanes – and man with all his technology buffeted by the powers of nature … It’s an attempt to find a way of talking about the power of nature.' (‘Tsunami takes top prize’, The Border Mail, 7 November 2009, p 20).
Hallandal often works in series. 'Tsunami' is one of some 16 works that she completed on the subject, one of which was a finalist in the 2008 Dobell Prize exhibition. In 'Tsunami' and the other drawings of this series, Hallandal has explored one of the great classic subjects, the deluge or flood, which has been addressed by artists from the earliest times. Her dark swirling mass of figures, boats, buildings and debris caught up in the destructive wave evokes the cataclysm of biblical deluge or flood seen in the works of Raphael, Michelangelo, Poussin, Turner and others inspired by the drama of forces beyond human imagining.
This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2009 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2009.
ink, charcoal, pastel on paper
140.0 cm (diameter, tondo); 195.0 x 155.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., pen and black ink "Pam Hallandal/ 2009".
Signed and dated bot c., pen and black ink "HALLANDAL/ 07-09".
Gift of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 2009
Not on display
© Pam Hallandal
Dobell Prize for Drawing (discontinued)
Where the work was made
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Dobell Prize for Drawing 2009, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Nov 2009–31 Jan 2010
Pam Hallandal: Disaster Series, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, Collingwood, 02 Jun 2011–26 Jun 2011
Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 Years of the Dobell Drawing Prize:
- Grafton Regional Gallery 15 Feb 2013–24 Mar 2013
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 30 Mar 2013–05 May 2013
- Orange Regional Gallery, Orange 05 Jul 2013–18 Aug 2013
- National Art School, Darlinghurst 29 Aug 2013–06 Oct 2013
- Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre, Murwillumbah 18 Oct 2013–24 Nov 2013
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 11 Apr 2014–18 May 2014
Referenced in 28 publications
Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Tumult captured on paper', pg. 16, Canberra, 13 Nov 2009, cover (colour illus.), 16 (colour illus.). NOTE: artist is standing beside the work on page 16.
Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Last chance', pg. 14, Canberra, 21 Jan 2010, 14.
Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Exhibitions: Dobell Prize for Drawing', pg. 11, Canberra, 07 Jan 2010, 11.
Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Exhibitions', pg. 12, Canberra, 24 Dec 2009, 12.
Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Exhibitions', pg. 14, Canberra, 16 Dec 2009, 14.
Christopher Allen, The Australian, 'Dobell Prize for Drawing', pg. 16, Canberra, 19 Nov 2009, 16.
Michaela Boland, The Weekend Australian Review, 'Luck of the draw as 80-year-old strikes it rich', pg. 3, Canberra, 07 Nov 2009-08 Nov 2009, 3 (colour illus.). NOTE: artist is located infront of the work.
Tracey Clement, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Sketched to the limit', pg. 12, Sydney, 23 Dec 2009, 12 (illus.).
Antonette Collins., www.abc.net.au, '80yo wins second Dobell Prize', Australia, 06 Nov 2009, (colour illus.). viewed 06.09.2009, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/11/06/2735207.htm?site=sydney
Adam Fulton, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Art illustrates death for Dobell winner', pg. 10, Sydney, 07 Nov 2009-08 Nov 2009, 10 (colour illus.). NOTE: artist is located infront of the work.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'A fine harvest of drawings: legacy of an exceptional draughtsman', pg. 28-31, Sydney, Nov 2011, 28 (illus.), 29-30.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Contemporary Australian Drawing: 20 years of the Dobell Prize for Drawing, ‘Introduction’, pg. 6-14, Sydney, 2012, 8, 52, 53 (colour illus.), 61.
Janet McKenzie, Contemporary Australian drawing #1, 'Introduction', pg. 7-20, South Yarra, 2012, 18, 91 (colour illus.).
Katrina Strickland, The Weekend Australian Financial Review, 'Hallandal wins Dobell', pg. 8, Sydney, 07 Nov 2009-08 Nov 2009, 8.
Jill Sykes, Look, 'Pam Hallandal: drawing from life', pg. 26-29, Sydney, Oct 2010, cover (colour illus.).
The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Art Gallery of NSW', pg. 23, Sydney, 31 Dec 2009, 23.
The Australian, 'Exhibitions: Dobell Prize for Drawing', pg. 17, Canberra, 01 Jan 2010, 17.
Daily telegraph, 'Tsunami draws artist', pg. 15, Sydney, 07 Nov 2009, 15 (illus.). NOTE: artist is located infront of the work.
The Newcastle herald, 'Power of nature picks up Dobell', pg. 9, Newcastle, 07 Nov 2009, 9 (illus.). NOTE: artist is located infront of the work.
The Border mail., 'Tsunami takes top prize', pg. 20, Albury, 07 Nov 2009, 20 (illus.). NOTE: artist is located infront of the work.
Sydney central courier, 'Tsunami takes Dobell prize', pg. 8, Sydney, 11 Nov 2009, 8 (illus.). NOTE: artist is standing infront of the work.
CBC News, 'Tsunami artwork wins $25K prize for drawing', Canada, 06 Nov 2009, (colour illus.). viewed 06.09.2010, http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/artdesign/story/2009/11/06/hallandal-dobell-prize-win.html
Imprint, 'Dobell Prize for Drawing 2009', pg. 35, Melbourne, Summer 2009, 35 (illus.).
The Australian, 'Exhibitions: Dobell Prize for Drawing', pg. 18, Canberra, 02 Jan 2010, 18.
Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser, 'Tsunami inspires Dobell winner', pg. 17, Wagga Wagga, 07 Nov 2009, 17 (illus.). NOTE: artist is seated infront of the work.
artdaily.org, 'Australian Artist Pam Hallandal Wins Dobell Prize for Drawing 2009', 09 Nov 2009, (colour illus.). viewed 09.10.2009, http://www.artdaily.com/index.asp?int_sec=11&int_new=34200&int_modo=1
Illawarra mercury, 'Artist, 80, wins prize', pg. 16, New South Wales, 07 Nov 2009, 16.
The Australian, 'The Dobell Prize for Drawing', pg. 16, Canberra, 09 Nov 2009, 16.