Female: Immigrant

R22,000.00 R17,600.00

Mixed Media
1.6m x 1m
On Canvas
Free Delivery in South Africa

SKU: Immigrant Category:


I was inspired by my rich history, having grown up in an immigrant culture. Learning and engaging with a new world brings challenges, opportunity but also sadness and longing. Trying to readjust and find the balance between the weight of your history and your ability to evolve and accept the new is difficult, do you ever really fit in on either side? Do you try to hold on tightly to your history as you feel it is dissolving and yet that very thing may be hindering your integration.  It’s a balancing act. Returning home you have changed and you see things differently. Things cannot be what they were. I have written a poem to explain this feeling.

The symbolism behind the painting: the swallows represent, fly back and forth for the warmer months nesting in one home and then moving to another. The pomegranate symbolises fertility and abundance, it’s placed at the heart centre of the woman, in Greek mythology Hades stole Persephone into the underworld, she took with her some pomegranate seeds which meant she could return to visit her family once a year. The hands symbolise, destiny and opportunity, the lines on the hands clearly marked to indicate fate. The flowers are for her memories, they are not heavily painted in, trying to show that some of our memories are representations of history not necessarily the truth. On the left hand side we have leaves growing out of the globe, this is opportunity and a new life.



Warm arms of knowing
my mother
brother, sister, father, cousins
food and tradition
we are rich and so poor

I crossed the sea
My bag was small
my thoughts and anxieties

How long will it last?

I drown in a world of new words
they laugh at my accent
and say
I am stupid

I compromise at work
I compromise
They laugh and say
I am stupid

My head rises above the words
I gasp for air,
my lungs cry for help
they choose not to
hear me

One day, I drive a big car
they are quiet
I like that

Incomplete mirrors
 we share bread and longing
we talk about money
still hungry

They point in surprise
How did he come to buy a big house?
I leave all the lights on so they can
see me

I have stories to remember you by
I have told them many times
Are they true?

I have put you all on a pedestal…
I know what does this:

I count the hours
and return with a bag, anxiety,
my children
gifts and money

Familiar strangers across a table
I eat as if I have been in famine
It does not fill me

You laugh when my children speak with strange tongues
I see but I do not say
You all look well without me

I visit again and again
but while I am with you a new missing has nested
Love for my new home

I have changed
I like and despise it
It makes me less like me and more
like them

You pull away from my incompleteness,
my newness mixed with oldness
You are finding ways to unlove me
this is what distance does

2 places
never home

:- Angelika Anastasis