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I Belong by Michael Gabriel Francas
Francas, Michael Gabriel
Award winner in 2018
I Belong’ is a poetic, improvised ode to exiles in search of belonging when confronted by a strange and foreign landscape. Much of my painting practice has been influenced by the notions of exile and belonging inspired by my Lithuanian artist father’s memoirs as a refugee and migrant to Australia. Like the exile intuitively finding their way in a foreign terrain, the painter in me improvises using the colours of a landscape of the mind never before encountered. Bringing the abstracted ‘scape forth as it is painted perpetually re-establishes a renewed identity. Scanning the horizon for points of reference brings the exile hope of locating a direction forward and sense of belonging. we are all exiles to some extent.