Snake Seller.

Some of my thinking for this piece was inspired by learning from overpowering photographs of manufacturing by Edward Burtynsky.  My attention was particularly drawn to images of miners.

‘Manufactured Landscapes’, Edward Burtynsky, courtesy of Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto, available at https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/dpk8yw/edward-burtynsky-shows-us-impending-enviro-apocalypse-in-high-definition

I have just started to work on a new portrait of a young woman.  She is a local worker at a market in Myiek, Myanmar.  The bazaar is based next to famous hot springs.  This increases the attractiveness of this placement and maximises potential sale opportunities.  She is a snakes vendor.  She spends all her days crouching down on her knees, while waiting for prospective customers.  Although she works outdoors, her individual stall can be seen through a window-like hole in a sheet of graffitied metal.  The contrast between brown and ochre colouring of the facade, raw redness of her T-shirt and the dynamic green of the grass make an illusion of quite dramatic and full colour compositional arrangement.

Her head is decorated with a traditional Burmese turban.  She is very serious, almost contemplative and very tense.  She looks down, perhaps away, and tries to kill time by organising one of her snakes neatly in a plastic bag, always in readiness for the next sale.

She spends most of her time waiting in anticipation for a successful transaction and making a profit.  All her days are alike, full of repetition, boredom and sameness. However, competition is tough.  Sales are limited.  This makes her existence very uncertain and fills her daily life with misery and anxiety.

I am hoping to overprint this piece with a repetitive pattern to increase the power and the overall impact.  This process will be documented in stages.

snake seller

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