An image of Tsunami

Pam Hallandal

(Australia 16 Jan 1929 – 26 Sep 2018)


Not on display
Further information

The subject of Pam Hallandal’s drawing is the human drama of the catastrophic Indian Ocean tsunami of Boxing Day 2004. One of the deadliest natural disasters to be recorded, it resulted in the deaths of over 230,000 people principally in Indonesia, with many also in Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. At the time of the event Hallandal had been drawing in the bush and emerged unknowing to news of the catastrophe, which affected her deeply.

'This Tsunami series started with the devastating events of 2004 and I’ve been working on it ever since … In the intervening years there have been all sorts of catastrophes – floods and hurricanes – and man with all his technology buffeted by the powers of nature … It’s an attempt to find a way of talking about the power of nature.' (‘Tsunami takes top prize’, The Border Mail, 7 November 2009, p 20).

Hallandal often works in series. 'Tsunami' is one of some 16 works that she completed on the subject, one of which was a finalist in the 2008 Dobell Prize exhibition. In 'Tsunami' and the other drawings of this series, Hallandal has explored one of the great classic subjects, the deluge or flood, which has been addressed by artists from the earliest times. Her dark swirling mass of figures, boats, buildings and debris caught up in the destructive wave evokes the cataclysm of biblical deluge or flood seen in the works of Raphael, Michelangelo, Poussin, Turner and others inspired by the drama of forces beyond human imagining.

This work won the Dobell Prize for Drawing in 2009 and was acquired by the Gallery in 2009.

Place of origin
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
ink, charcoal, pastel on paper
140.0 cm (diameter, tondo); 195.0 x 155.0 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., pen and black ink "Pam Hallandal/ 2009".
Signed and dated bot c., pen and black ink "HALLANDAL/ 07-09".

Gift of the Sir William Dobell Art Foundation 2009
Accession number
© Pam Hallandal