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Reproduced courtesy of Gina Sinozich

We Are Sailing from the Known to the Unknown

Date: 2003
Dimensions:
Overall: 900 x 450 mm, 2 mm, 1.1 kg
Medium: Oil on wood
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Gina Sinozich
Object Copyright: © Gina Sinozich
Classification:Art
Object Name: Painting
Object No: 00037906
Place Manufactured:Sydney

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    Description
    'We are sailing from the Known to the Unknown' represents the feelings of unfamiliarity and uncertainty that many migrants and refugees felt on moving to Australia, a mysterious country at the end of the world.

    Gina Sinozich's painting shows the liner SS NEPTUNIA sailing across a stylised map from Croatia to Australia, representing the voyage of the artist and her family in 1957. The map of Croatia includes villages and a church while Australia is shown with Uluru, a kangaroo and Aboriginal people. For many displaced persons fleeing Europe after World War II iconic representations such as these were all they knew of their future home.
    SignificanceGina Sinozich's painting highlights her family's migration journey from Croatia to Australia in 1957. It represents the experience of many displaced people compelled to move from Europe in the aftermath of World War II.
    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

    Web title: We Are Sailing from the Known to the Unknown

    Primary title: We Are Sailing from the Known to the Unknown

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