The Sea of Untold Stories II
Desmond Lazaro

Desmond Lazaro

Desmond Lazaro, The Sea of Untold Stories II 2019. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Lawrence Hinchliffe Bequest Fund 2019. © Desmond Lazaro

The Sea of Untold Stories II is an emotional response to the plight of migrants making perilous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea.

Desmond Lazaro

The central shamsa (sunburst) is a sign of hope. It emulates a symbol on the passport that Lazaro’s grandfather used for his journey from Burma (now Myanmar) to London in the 1950s. 

Desmond Lazaro

The figures, some carrying bags containing their only possessions, are drops of water in a vast sea of gold. 

Desmond Lazaro

Inspired by the Chinese Dunhuang Star Atlas, the oldest visual chart of the stars, the sky displays the four celestial animals guarding the constellations: tiger, dragon, vermillion bird, turtle.  

Desmond Lazaro

Other constellations include Argo, which is the name of the ship in the Greek myth of Jason and the ArgonautsIt is surrounded by Pegasus (winged horse), Equuleus (the little horse), Hydra (the Water Serpent), Centaurus (the centaur), and Hercules (the strong man). 

Desmond Lazaro

Stars guided people crossing oceans, deserts and continents when no other navigational tool was available.

Not all the migrants reach their physical destination. Some transcend this world, gradually morphing into stars. Lazaro turns the grief of unimaginable loss into the light of transcendental hope.