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Reproduced courtesy of Gina Sinozich

Istrian Landscape, A Beautiful Heart of Croatia

Date: 2002
Overall: 477 x 626 x 45 mm, 1.58 kg
Medium: Oil on wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gina Sinozich
Object Copyright: © Gina Sinozich
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00037917
Place Manufactured:Sydney
Related Place:Hrvatska,

User Terms

    This painting depicts a map of Istria, Croatia, including its neigbouring towns, the coastline, boats and the border of Italy. It was painted by Gina Sinozich 45 years after she came to Australia on SS NEPTUNIA as a Croatian refugee. Istria was Gina's home town, and this map includes Istria's surrounding villages of Senovik, where she was born and Sinozici, where her husband's family lived.
    Significance'Istrian Landscape, A Beautiful Heart of Croatia' represents the fondness and love many displaced migrants feel towards their birthplace and homeland after migrating to Australia after World War II. This painting represents the personal experience of the artist, Croatian refugee Gina Sinozich, who migrated to Australia in 1957.
    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.
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