In response to 'Another Day in Paradise'.
Trafficker, son, heroin, stupid, brutal, brother, addict, worthless, friend, evil, immature, guilty, caught, convicted, sentenced, condemned, incarcerated, trapped, stopped, justice, harsh, punishment, deserved, tough, unbending, politics, intervention, controversy, international, support, diplomacy, pleading, advocacy, clemency, antipathy, polarising, desperate, reforming, supported, flawed, related, developing, sobered, hopeful, represented, repentant, pariah, undeserving, mentored, maturing, searching, learning, attempting, mistaken, stumbling, growing, painting, expressing, hoping, relating, striving, supporting, imperfect, improving, repaying, waiting, struggling, longing, determined, strong, wavering, continuing, expressing, stagnating, reviving, encouraged, ageing, disciplined, mentoring, protecting, creating, connecting, depressed, disheartened, believing, frightened sorrowful, wretched, distressed, trusting, anticipating, reviled, beloved, miserable, happy, motivated, despondent, purposeful, transformative, reflective, troubled, peaceful, discovering, elated, disturbed, inspired, worried, contented, loving, redemptive, anguished, resilient, vulnerable, powerful, resisting, surrendered, composed, grieving, tortured, sensitive, passionate, comforted, despairing, conflicted, vehement, courageous, agitated, foreboding, dreading, reconciling, confronting, foetal, forceful, terrified, aware, challenging, clamouring, crying, meditating, communicating, conscious, living, resounding,
After attending the opening of 'Another Day in Paradise', the first major exhibition of the work of Myuran Sukumaran, painted whilst he was imprisoned in Bali's Kerobokan Prison, and during the final 72 hours of his life, spent on Nusa Kambangan Island, before his execution by firing squad, I felt I could not witness such a powerful expression of humanity without, in turn, bearing witness to what I had seen. Sukumaran's paintings speak strongly of the pain, joy, agony, ecstasy, hope and despair of being human. His story, which cannot be separated from his artistic legacy, is one of redemption, transformation, and human potential cut short. His final 72 hours of work are the most powerful, and most human artistic message I believe I have ever seen. This final work is beyond being political or even emotional. It is a compelling testament of what it means, to be.