Where do I begin to write about the kids of Dontro?
I find myself intriqued by the mechanics of how this picture works. When we look into it we see two little children who are surrounded by semi impressionistic/abstract designs,shapes and colours.
This surround effect adds drama to the work and it enhances their visual impact. Its as if the children are caught walking out of an earth coloured tunnel into a world of brightness, and light.
Take a look at the undefinable surround and you will see Brian's love of abstraction coming through with sparkles, bubbles, scratches and feather shapes. Contrast this with such definable qualities as timidity and shyness which are shown in the faces and body language of the two children.
The more I look at the children the more questions come to mind. Why is the little boy naked? Do all little boys his age and in his culture, go naked? Or is this ia world of desparate poverty and need.
This intersection between such defined questions and such undefinable abstraction is the point of power. The children are enhanced. Their needs are more dominant.
Look at the little girl's feet. She seems to emerge from mist. She walks out of her world into our hearts.
Now, look into their faces. They are looking at you and responding to you as the viewer. You are part of this work, like it or not. Are the children awaiting your response?
You certainly know how to reach into our deepest sensitivities, Brian. A well constructed and powerfully painted work.
CITY2SUNRISE: A JOURNEY THROUGH ASIA
This painting would not exist if not for some very courageous people. You see, one year ago I was invited to join a group known as City2Sunrise (C2S) to help them document an amazing journey throughout South East Asia to raise funding and awareness for some very special orphans in Cambodia. C2S consists of four guys from Australia who embarked on a journey of 14’000kms that would take them through five countries. It took them over three years to plan and almost four months to complete, all on motocross bikes.
In January 2010 my partner Margaret and I joined the team in Singapore. We accompanied the guys on and off for five weeks documenting the adventure at strategic points along the way. Along with us was filmographer Christopher Clarke who was hired to create a documentary film of the adventure. Of course there were many highlights but none touched the moment we all arrived in the Cambodian capitol Phnom Penh to meet the children of Sunrise Children’s Villages.
Sunrise is operated by one of the most dynamic women you will ever meet. Her name is Geraldine Cox, a small robust women with fire-red hair and a personality to match. She met one of the team members at a fundraiser in Sydney Australia and they were so impressed they offered to help any way they could. Several weeks later City2Sunrise was formed.
As for my part, I returned home and began a series of work that to date has been exhibited in Canada and Australia raising over $25,000 for the kids. In total City2Sunrise has now raised over $135,000.