Original in so many ways – the story

First of all congrats to Liz who recognised the image as work by Sandra Tobias. Sandra was a colleague of ours in Hong Kong, working as a teacher as well as a successful artist. She is now working in Victoria, Australia.
The painting was purchased by Mairi and I at an exhibition Sandra held in LKF, and was the very first thing we bought together, long before we had anywhere to hang it.
 When I moved to Thailand I took the painting with me, the idea being to hang it there until we found a more permanent home for it – a home we would be sharing.
Over the Christmas of 2004 I was visiting Mairi in Perth, where she was then living, and I had given up the apartment I had rented in Phuket, intending to move to a new one on my return to Thailand after the new year. Because of this I had stored all my ‘stuff’ – everything I owned – with friend who had a house near the beach.
December 25th 2004 was the date of the terrible Tsunami in Asia, and Phuket suffered very badly. My friends house was hit hard and all of my things were either washed away or mangled like in a washing machine. Putting this all in perspective, I have deliberately called my possessions ‘stuff’ because my friend was one of the people lost to that Tsunami. Stuff doesn’t matter at all really.
However, some things did survive, although none did so unscathed. This painting was one thing which did survive. It was not in great shape, water had got in and had damaged the very delicate and original colours used by Sandra ( she makes her own paints). I guess the frame had helped it’s survival, and I thought it was retrievable. Bearing in mind it’s meaning to Mairi and I it seemed to me that this survival was prophetic, and I resolved to save this painting. I brought it frameless to Perth, and Mairi’s dad offered to have a go at  ‘tidying it up’ (he was an architect and an accomplished artist himself).
With painstaking care and attention he delicately and lovingly worked on the painting and the care and skill he exhibited made it  beautiful once again. It hangs with pride of place in our lounge and the memories it evokes each time we look at it fill us with warmth in so many ways.
This beautiful painting is, indeed, an original in so many ways.Image

About dallanWA

Born post war Britain 1947, educated in UK, Masters degree in Education from University of Nottingham. Worked as an Educator and Manager UK, USA, Hong Kong. Lived in UK, USA, Hong Kong, Thailand, and now in Western Australia
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4 Responses to Original in so many ways – the story

  1. Akashic Liz says:

    Reblogged this on Home on the Grange and commented:
    I want to reblog this for a very good reason. Dave Smith, the originator of this wonderful, life-affirming story is a good friend of mine and we all need good friends, so that’s the best reason I know to reblog anything. But even more importantly, for me at least, is the story that he tells. I knew much of it, because I lived through the experience, from a different perspective of course. I have stories to tell of Bali which I will, another time, but the relief when he rocked up at school shortly after the tsunami, safe and sound and significantly, still alive, was palpable to all who know and love him. Dave is a true rock, hewn from granite (as all Yorkshiremen are), with an unexpectedly sensitive core. His (and Mairi’s of course) friendship means the world to me and I want people to see the brilliance of his star. So, I’m sharing his story and want to congratulate him on getting it out here. Well done Dave!

  2. Akashic Liz says:

    Tears flowing, I am so touched by the final part of this story, that I didn’t know before. Mairi’s dad’s accomplishment in restoring this painting is fantastic. You guys rock, but you know that xx

  3. Anonymous says:

    Tears flowing indeed! I so love this painting for all it represents.

  4. Mairi says:

    Anonymous was me!

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