Entry expresses artist’s hopes


Growing up in a country where he wasn’t allowed to chase his dream of being an artist, Nawal Khatiwada is now making up for lost time.

Nawal, in Sydney, with some of his paintings.
Nawal, in Sydney, with some of his paintings (Picture courtesy: Jenny Davson-Galle)

Mr Khatiwada, a refugee from Bhutan who now lives in Minto, is one of 30 people nationwide in the running to win the $12,000 Heartlands Refugee Art Prize 2013.

The 29-year-old grew up in Bhutan before his family sought refuge in Nepal when he was 10.

In Nepal he couldn’t enter art competitions because he would have to submit his citizenship papers. His family came to Australia in 2010 as refugees and he’s now focusing on becoming a professional artist.

A painting by Nawal submitted for the contest
A painting by Nawal submitted for the contest

His selected work, Brother and Sister is an oil on canvas painting and took him only three hours to finish. “This painting is about the importance of love, family, relationships and the productivity and beauty in life that is created and nurtured through unity,” he said. “It’s essentially about what I wish for our world and what I wish to now experience in my life and my family’s life.”

He paints between studying nursing at UWS Campbelltown. He has lived with his family in Minto for five months.

“I love this place, it’s not crowded and lots of interesting people,” he said.

The winner of the Heartlands Refugee Art Prize 2013 will be announced at an event in Melbourne on June 20.

Reproduced from www.macarthuradvertiser.com.au


  1. All the best Nawal. I am actually going in the launch of this great competition. This competition was started by AMES (my previous work-largest refugee settler and largest no of new refugees employer in Australia) and Multicultural Arts Victoria few years ago in Victoria. The exhibition is open from today. I had a quick visit to the display today at the 45 finders lane in Melbourne.
    Anyone in Melbourne can go from today until 29th June and will be displayed in other places. The details can be found in the link here:

    Great to see Bhutanese are progressing in many areas.All the best wishes