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Environmental Immigrants

Currently, four times as many migrants are displaced due to environmental reasons as due to armed conflicts and violence, and their numbers are bound to grow. Estimates suggest that by 2070 20% of the landmass — much of it now densely populated — will have a climate similar to today's Sahara, causing billions of people to flee. There is no rain for five years and it is impossible to get a harvest. Hurricanes, storms, and volcanic eruptions, also caused by warming, are destroying entire islands.


Acrylic on canvas, coal   200 x 272 cm

In the first part of my project, an image of a mythical monster, a hydra with many heads, symbolizes immigrants, as they are sometimes perceived in society. We cannot say which country they are from, we only have an image of emaciated people. These creatures are frightening and disturbing. But these are also people, and it depends only on us to lend a helping hand to them, to accept and understand.


Acrylic on canvas, coal   80 x 100 cm

In this work, I created portraits of women of several generations. The largest and most detailed one is a portrait of a grandmother. This image shows a tree with female faces of different generations. This painting is about support, transfer of knowledge and experience, about protecting the next generations with the power of thought. On the one hand, it is a collective image, and on the other hand, it is a very personal image for me. Wherever I go, I always feel connected to my mother and grandmother, and this is incredibly important for me. Their invisible presence protects, warms me, and gives me the strength to live. No force, no circumstance, no distance and time that separates people can break this personal connection between people. It will always be passed on to other generations. The power of the family is a great power! And this work celebrates these interpersonal connection within one family.


Acrylic on canvas, coal   150 x 100 cm

Here I painted a portrait of a girl, a refugee from Africa. Her headdress and the girl herself is turning into a tree, the branches are her thoughts. Every branch - every thought - ends with a little face, showing a person remaining in her homeland she keeps thinking of, with whom she has a strong spiritual connection. This painting is an allegory of the strength of the clan. Even far, far away, all her relatives are with her. She has them in her soul, in her thoughts, her heart.


Acrylic on canvas, coal   80 x 200 cm

In this picture, an immigrant is shown as a combination of a human and a beast. I use this image, to study the relation between consanguinity and immigration. If you have never had a brother or sister, you will always dream about having them. You will imagine how great it would be that there is a faithful and devoted kindred soul on the planet who shares joy and sorrow with you and protects you. If you've had a brother or sister, then you will forever carry an invisible image in you. And then - depending on how lucky you are - this image will either help or eternally challenge you. In immigration, you need to understand where you stand, and on which side. On the side of family and blood ties, or on the side where every man is for himself!

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