Three Monks.

Mixed media on unprimed canvas.

168 cm x 118 cm

Following a long period of working on small to medium size canvasses, I have got the confidence to approach a large-scale painterly composition. The current size amounts roughly to 4 times A1. This “space” should allow me to explore the painting matter on a much broader front and experiment with integrating a range of media and processes.
The new piece portrays three Burmese monks taking a break from their money collecting duties, while entertaining themselves with a large group of pigeons. My primary sources originate from Yangon in Myanmar. I was undertaking some visual research by recording activities in a remote market area of the city.
There were large numbers of child monks present. Most of their days are spend extorting large amounts of cash from the hard working, fearful and deeply religious market community. They are immaculately dressed in pink robes and sarongs. Simultaneously, they walk bare foot to project an image of poverty and humbleness.
However, the truth is different. They have got daily targets to fill their metals trays with a mixture of coins and bank notes to satisfy the needs and expectations of their superiors.
My creative intention is to disrupt the entrapment in the vacuum of hypnotic repetition of daily routines. This concept will be further articulated through the recording of the washing cycle using a laundrette. I am very much intrigued by the metaphorical ambiguity of the meaning of the cleansing process. It is more than just the removing of every day stains and dirt, and washing off sins and unwanted memories of the past in order to ensure cleanness and purity.
The dynamism of the composition created by the birds has got partially got lost in the process of glazing and overprinting. The screen-printed text contains a collage of remains of my notes and observations from this experience. Perhaps, I need to consider different ways of bringing it back. I have also considered some experimentation with both, my painting and the original video recording.

I have included below, a range of documentary photographs depicting the overall composition and a variety of intriguing detail.

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