Oil On Canvas
52cm X 76cm
SIGNED PRINTS AVAILABLE
"In May of 2022 I was invited by the Social Purpose Organisation Friendship to visit the most remote areas of Bangladesh that were being hit really hard with climate change and also to view the work that Friendship and the local community were doing to fight back. One particular place that I visited was one of Friendship’s floating hospitals. These hospitals were so important as people from these isolated and remote islands were now able to visit a hospital that was accessible to them rather than make the very long and expensive journey to a mainland hospital.
The first patients that I spoke to were Nasrin who was 13 and Zakira who was 12. Nasrin had recently had surgery on her clubfoot and was waiting for her plaster to be removed whilst Zakira who had recently received surgery on the same condition was at the hospital for follow up treatment. I then went into the waiting room where I met Shapna. Shapna had lived in the remote islands of Bangladesh all her life and like so many other people in the community she was suffering with cataracts. She was unable to visit a mainland hospital because her island was so isolated and remote that travel was both difficult and expensive. She was now able to have her surgery on the hospital ship and she waited in the waiting room for her surgery that was to take place imminently.
I was struck by her pride, her kindness. She had struggled so much in her life yet she remained resilient and hopeful. She was dressed immaculately and although her eyes were blurred with cataracts, I could see the strength in her eyes. I wanted to paint Shapna with emotions such as resilience and hope screaming in pride from the canvas and I wanted the background to be clear, crisp and defined just as her eyes and vision would be after the surgery thanks to both her determination and the help of Friendship’s floating hospital."
Words by the artist, James Earley.