In the past few months we have all responded with horror and grave concern to the images in the media of migrant families trudging back to their villages. Watching them from the comfort of our own homes has been conscience pricking as most of us have been able do little for them. As an artist I ceded to a need to paint their images, knowing full well that I will inevitably aestheticise the image. The aesthetic impulse is a positive force, but if it masks reality and merely makes it palatable, then it becomes a problem. To guard against this one must be able to give the subject a presence and a voice and hope that the image will then carry some of the redemptive power of the aesthetic. It is a humble recognition of other lives.