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Krysalis is a bold piece of work that has a beautiful story connected to its emergence. While being slightly decorative in its abstraction, it has a strength and harmony that offer a dramatic addition to your living space. If you like your artworks to hold more than paint and canvas, this one certainly does that.

My inspiration for the work came from  a sculpture by Will Ngakuru, which I saw in Rotorua, New Zealand. The sculpture was part of several that had been commissioned to commemorate the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand soldiers fallen in battle.) The sculpture is shaped like a canoe, which harks back to the arrival of the Maori peoples in New Zealand and who may have been refugees themselves.

I was fascinated by the  swirling motifs, one of which clearly resembles a heart or fish hook.  The fish hook is a central Maori symbol which represents  strength, good luck and safe travel across water. ( Which also speaks to the fact that many refugees travel across water seeking freedom).  These markings were placed there by the sculptor using traditional Maori techniques, working with fire and clay.

I’ve called my work ‘Chrysalis’  because we see the figure in a stage of metamorphosis – emerging into a new and better version of itself. The Krysalis is the container of possibility. I feel that displaced people, refugees,  have the possibility of the Krysalis in beginning a new chapter in their lives.  Often our best work is forged in the crucible of life’s biggest challenges.

I love the whole chain of connection that has led to this painting. It is a work grounded in the gift of a sculptor honouring people’s struggle for higher ideals – freedom. The piece couldn’t have been made without Will’s work ‘Continuum’ and I offer thanks for his beautiful creation which led to the birth of mine.

36″x 33″

91 x 84 cm

Oil on Canvas



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Continuum – Sculpture by Will Ngakuru