Bert Hermans
'The Hard Way Up'
Oil on canvas
70 x 100 cm

This painting was inspired by a visit that Bert's daughter made to a tea factory in Sri Lanka during her world trip.
The 'Halpewatte Tea Factory' was built in 1940, during the British rule, and is located 1230 meters above sea level in the cool climate of the Uva region, 200 km from Colombo and 6 km from Ella, a picturesque small town in the province Uva. Starting as a small business, the tea factory now produces 150,000 kg per month and employs more than 300 workers. This makes the tea factory one of the largest producers of Ceylon tea.
The title of the painting not only refers to the growth of the factory, but also to the difficult path up the beams and stairs in the painting. The observant viewer will see a cat in the bottom right corner that looks greedily up at a bird on the beam. Also a hard way up for the cat.