Hear my voice, oil on canvas, 24 x 30cm, December 2012 sold
In Man’s Land
No Man’s Land – In Man’s Land
Chrys Roboras 2010-2012
It has been a journey from one series to the other. My first series ‘No Man’s Land’ is about being in between two countries; Australia and Greece. In Australia, I am Greek, In Greece I am Australian. For most of my life, I have known two countries. However, I spent the majority of it in Australia. Born and raised in Australia by immigrant parents, I could not help to have the feeling of not belonging embedded in my subconscious. It may have been my father’s words that “one day we would return to Greece”, to his country, his fatherland that evoked feelings of displacement. Feelings that the place that I was already living in, the environment that I was being raised in and the landscape that surrounded me was not the right place. This eliminated the environment from my mind, made me feel very small against the enormous landscapes and direct environment that surrounded me. This emotion is something that I carried and carry with me for a very long time and now represent in the body of paintings; ‘No Man’s Land’. I believe that it is very important to understand that we are indeed very small against our surrounding landscapes. It is also important to be able to recognize the natural need of a human being to find a place to belong to, a place where there is no emotion of “No Man’s Land”.
Three years later and evolved, ‘In Man’s Land’ took over. This series does not have nomadic people. My figures are yes, at times wandering but have adapted to their surrounding environment and have a less turmoil reaction and more of a "I feel ok," accepted and adapted attitude. This journey of paintings has settled within myself the upsets of identity, belonging and acceptance. The figures are larger and dominant. They no longer hide, or chose not to be seen front on. The figures are proud standing tall. The environment and it’s landscapes can be dominating but now they seem less intimidating. You can still carry with you the thought of displacement and the emotion of ‘No Man’s Land,' but 'In Man’s Land’ has no insecurities of contemplation and doubt, they have softened into having destination and a path to follow. ‘In Man’s Land’ stands stronger and determined to belong no matter where you may be in your life. Taking time, looking down at all I see, open your eyes to a place where we all can belong to…