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Reproduced courtesy of Gina Sinozich

We are in the Sea Storm of the Indian Ocean

Date: 2003
Dimensions:
Overall: 600 x 900 mm, 2 mm, 1.16 kg
Medium: Oil on wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gina Sinozich
Object Copyright: © Gina Sinozich
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00037913
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    This painting, by Gina Sinozich, shows the passenger liner SS NEPTUNIA in wild and choppy seas on the Indian Ocean. Terrified and seasick passengers are dotted across the deck wearing life jackets. The artist and her family migrated to Australia as refugees from Croatia in 1957, travelling aboard the NEPTUNIA from Italy to Melbourne, Australia.
    Significance'We are in the Sea Storm of the Indian Ocean' represents the experiences of many migrants and refugees travelling to Australia on board passenger liners. Voyages were not always smooth and many travellers suffered seasickness during the journey. The painting also represents the personal experience of the artist, Croatian migrant Gina Sinozich, and her family on board SS NEPTUNIA in 1957, as they travelled from Italy to Melbourne, Australia.
    HistoryGina Sinozich began painting in 2000, when she was 70 years old. In 2009 she continued to paint full-time at her home in south-western Sydney. In these paintings Gina gives a first hand account of daily life on board the passenger ship SS NEPTUNIA which left Genoa, Italy for Melbourne, Australia on 19 June 1957. Her works are largely chronological and concentrate on the ship's journey, offering an insight into the anticipation and apprehension she felt towards their destination Australia, of which little was known.

    In 1956 Gina Sinozich fled her hometown in Istria, Croatia with her husband and two children Michael and Jenny to start a new life. Their decision to leave was made because of the difficult conditions experienced by families living in post-war Croatia, then part of the Communist Republic of Yugoslavia and under the control of Marshall Josip Tito. Many Croatians feared for their safety and experienced hunger and poverty.

    After travelling overland to Italy the Sinozich family lived in a refugee camp for 18 months until they were accepted for assisted migration to Australia. The family of four arrived to Australia with only three small suitcases, having fled in secret without packing family keepsakes or mementoes.

    Their journey mirrored the passage taken by hundreds of thousands of post-World War II European migrants, one which changed not only their lives but also had a profound effect on Australian society. Gina returned to Croatia in 2004, reuniting with family members and mending rifts caused by her secret departure almost fifty years earlier.
    Additional Titles

    Primary title: We are in the Sea Storm of the Indian Ocean

    Web title: We are in the Seastorm of the Indian Ocean

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