• Artist
    Rob Whitson
  • Title
  • Date of Production
  • Medium
    oil on linen
  • Dimensions
  • Credit Details

Foothills: Landscape of the Indian Himalaya

Monday, May 02, 2011 - Monday, March 14, 2011, -

Admission: Free

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.