'Hope' 30x20 cm Screenprint

The print 'Hope' was inspired by the exodus of refugees and the images of people sailing across the Mediterranean from Turkey to the Greek islands. The news was and is saturated with shocking pictures of little boats and uprooted people, desperately seeking a better life, leaving all they had and all that sustained them behind.

Early on the day when the original idea was conceived, I was walking to my studio through Victoria Park in Leicester. The trees had shed their last autumnal leaves and stood in a bitter breeze which bent and swayed their thin branches. They stoically faced their circumstances in the hope of a new spring and new life.

The image of the tree made me think of how hope survives and sustains us, even guides us, when we face insurmountable odds.

 I ran to the studio and made a simple little sketch so that I would not lose this moving image and idea.

The tree on the boat is a metaphor. The three components of the print, the boat, the tree and the sea are simple and universally understood, but their juxtaposition makes us look again and reflect.

The tree symbolises a person who has been displaced or uprooted and through life changing events, forced to become a refugee. Anyone in that position cannot survive long without putting roots down somewhere. When they do, will they survive and thrive, create a meaningful life for themselves and their children and bear fruit?

NEW LEAF was conceived as a positive and happy image, symbolising the start of something new. Turning a new leaf, sailing to new shores, starting a new adventure. Despite the hardships, losses and hurts of losing one's country and being transplanted, I wanted the image to reflect the feeling of new possibilities. The composer Yvonne Bloor has written a musical track entitled 'Hope Sails Forth' which was inspired by the image.