Artist In Exile: Aubrey Collette

Cresside Collette grew up in Australia, far removed from the world of her father, Aubrey Collette, a renowned Ceylonese political cartoonist and artist, who was a founding member of the country’s ’43 Group. Forced to leave Ceylon in 1961 due to increasing hostility towards his political cartoons, Collette lived the rest of his life in Australia, where he died in 1992.

Despite an impressive career, the exile from Sri Lanka left Collette “heartbroken”. The talent, learned artistry and political voice of his cartoons captured a pivotal moment in the country’s early history — and nobody knows how much more he would have added to his legacy, if  he didn’t have to leave when he did. 

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