- Date of Production
oil on linen
- Credit Details
Foothills: Landscape of the Indian Himalaya
Monday, May 02, 2011 -
Monday, March 14, 2011,
recent works by Rob Whitson
Foothills: Landscape of the Indian Himalaya is
Rob Whitson's response to a visit he made in 2001 to Dharamsala,
the northern Indian town which is home to many Tibetan refugees
including the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan Government-in-exile.
While staying in Dharamsala, Whitson became acquainted with a
Tibetan monk named Tsultrum and heard the story of the monk's
journey from Tibet over the mountains. Tsultrum asked the artist to
paint the landscape in Tibet where his monastery was located. The
monk showed Whitson photos of the place he called 'where there is
two yellow river', expressing some concern regarding the fate of
the site of the monastery.
Before Whitson started work on this project, he heard that
Tsultrum had committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree
somewhere in or around Dharamsala. The forests around Dharamsala
mainly consist of rhododendron and cedar and the foliage of
rhododendrons is regularly stripped to feed domestic animals.
Whitson was left with a stark image of Tsultrum hanging from a
stripped rhododendron tree by his monk's robe.
The exhibition is Whitson's response to Tsultrum's death and the
Dharamsala landscape is its focal point. This is a layered
multifaceted landscape, where traces of peoples' connections to
place and places are embedded into this pocket of land in the
foothills of the north-west Indian Himalayas.