# Christine Shoji – Furusatou

Artist Statement

Going home, that lovely warm feeling of nostalgia, or ‘old sugar’ as the Japanese say; Furusatou is a word play on Furu sato, meaning old town.

In late 2021, I returned to my home town in East Devon, to help nurse my 97-year-old father. With a travel exemption (it was the height of the Coronavirus pandemic) and after much soul searching, I decided to go for over 3 months. It wasn’t easy. He challenged me, pressed all my buttons. Art was my salvation. Dad died in June 2022 aged 98 years, so this is a homage to his long life, in the small fishing town where he was born and bred, and the places that I revisited after so many years in Australia.

The work is warm, lively and expressive. I played with mixed media: ink washes, soft pastels, watercolours.

* East Devon – Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) – is located in the scenic county of Devon in south west of England. First designated an AONB back in 1963, the area covers 268 square kilometres, covering 33% of the East Devon District, making East Devon one of more compact AONBs in the UK. The area provides one of the finest examples of unspoilt scenic coastline and countryside in England and is famous for its picture postcard images of Devon.

In the Pink series

This series of work draws on the aftermath of the terrible bushfires in the Blue Mountains in late 2019.  To the astonishment of many, pink flannel flower plants blanketed parts of the Narrowneck Plateau in Katoomba; a rare phenomenon where this plant only appears and flowers the summer after a bushfire!  I wanted to express my joy at this event.  It was the beginning of my landscape works again, after a long hiatus of many years.

Christine Shoji
February 2023


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