Art Name & Concept:
(Acrylic on canvas painting)

Thomas Powell, Penang

Room 8

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This piece is a portrait of Norman Macalister, but not in the conventional sense, rather than a straightforward representation of the man the piece is an explosion of visual information. The depicted imagery is related to Norman Macalister’s life, especially his time in Penang, what led him there, who he was and his accomplishments during his tenure as a governor.

Norman Macalister of Clachaig Scotland, held a commission as a Colonel in the East India Company, which took him to South East Asia, where he became Lieutenant-Governor of Prince of Wales Island in the early 1800’s.

He was a friend of Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles. Two notable undertakings of his were to make an inventory of all the timbers of Penang that could be used for masts and spars, and also the reinforcement of Fort Cornwallis with brick as opposed to just wood. Macalister was lost in the South China Sea on a journey back to Scotland when the ship "Ocean" sank.