I was on a totally overcrowded coach in Haiti. All seats were broken, ripped and absolutely filthy. I left early in the morning and with passing time, the refreshing sunrise breeze was replaced by a stinking stench of old sweat and … alcohol fumes. I was travelling from La Caye to an unpronounceable and mysterious road junction (as noted by a woman in my hotel) hoping to catch a connecting minibus to Jacmel. The day was extremely hot and humid. The bus was stuck in a traffic jam in scorching heat for over an hour. I kept looking through a dirty window to try to relax in this very claustrophobic and uncomfortable situation. My attention was drawn to the minibus on my right. There was a young girl staring at me through the window. She was expressionless, almost deadpan. The hot sun created an orange glare on the surface of the glass. Her face was somehow integrated with a number of layers of reflections of the surrounding area – mainly bustling traffic.
She was sat there, waiting with patience, stone-faced and humble. I smiled and took a quick and discrete photo of the bus and her. My fellow travelers got really disturbed by this; annoyed and angry. They did not understand my intentions. They definitely did not like seeing a tourist photographing their hardship. I realised that by displaying an expensive mobile phone to take this supposedly meaningless photograph humiliated the locals. It created an unnecessary division between them and I. It also reinforced our differences and the diametrically opposite sides of life and the world. However, all this had made no impression on the girl whatsoever. She remained untouched and unmoved, with exactly the same expression on her face. I begun to plan ideas for a painting. The same evening, I started to draw and make notes in my little pad. I really wanted to protect my memories from being forgotten before I return to my studio and translate my observations into a painterly interpretation.
I have worked on this image for quite a while now. Following a long process of change and manipulation, I have just blasted the red layer off and started to over-print the surface with a range of hot and creamy oranges. These new layers have been also partially washed off to reveal little parts of the under image. My intention was to create an ultimate superimposure of the many components and elements of this composition.
We are all waiting for something to happen, from little and insignificant things to big and pivotal changes. As a matter of fact, we spend our entire lives waiting for the end of a journey – the final stop. Our destination is unknown and unpredictable. This causes a lot of uncertainty. We are all subjected to mortality after all.