This is my recent attempt to respond to the current situation. My project has redefined itself a number of times during a very long and turbulent journey through 9 countries. My observations and reflections have substantially changed their focus.
My initial interests were firmly placed on the uncertainties of tomorrow. The context for my investigation was mainly related to a range of economic disadvantages of people in the countries, which I visited. I was both: fascinated and terrified to learn how they deal with their daily lives. How inventive and creative they must become in order to survive.
Subsequently, I realised that everyone is waiting for a new pivotal occurrence. Something important to happen and bring about a significant and positive change. One way of dealing with this lengthy, stagnant and monotonous process is to get subjected by the conditioning of a hypnotic repetition.
My visual exploration of workers, who were suspended in the vacuum of that process, followed. I become intrigued by creating painterly responses based on analysis workers in Asia. This has allowed me to produce some of my recent and key achievements:
- Thai Masseur
2. The Wheel of Fortune Seller
3. Three Burmese Monks
My video of the washing cycle of The Wheel of Fortune Seller is broken down into a number of independent parts. Each one is intended to be to have a separate meaning and be a metaphorical parallel to a chapter in life; from the start to the end:
- Introduction of a middle-aged man with a face mask holding a Stanley knife. This scene is full of anticipation and automatic questioning: Who is he? What are his intentions? What is going to happen next? Are his intentions sinister?
- Engagement of a background sound recording. This is a repetitive voice of an Asian female. It is difficult to understand and decipher. Her broken accent becomes much more clear with time. Her messages contextualise the scene.
- Cutting the painting out and the shaking off. What is the intention? The voice starts slowly to become annoying. The shaking off is metaphorical for causing a loss of something and undergoing or suffering from a misfortune. My creative intention is to communicate how special and significant is the current pandemic situation in all broader contexts.
- Magic of loading the washing machine. The painting appears to fly into the drum on its own. There is something theatrical, unreal and intriguing about this. It appears to be a bizarre ballet, a performance in the surroundings of a dirty corner – full of stains and clutter; in front of a red fire extinguisher, which symbolises a state of predicted and unavoidable emergency.
- Washing – mundane and foreseeable. This part, coupled with a lengthy spinning cycle, is designed to test the patience. A new thought is born in my mind – when will this finish? Here again, this is a current question of primary importance and substance – perhaps on everyone’s mind (sic!)
- Unloading. The female voice comes back. Something is finalised, concluded, yet the ‘old’ is reborn and reformed. It comes back like a haunting ghost from the past.
- Final shake. It is intended to agitate – to get rid off what is there. The old is removed and no longer desired. The Wheel of Fortune Seller is erased from the surface of the painting. The old memories are gone. Let’s hope, the real person behind the primary source character has a new and better life to enjoy and celebrate.
My intention was to create an almost religious and spiritual connotation.
Ultimately, the washed canvas will be stitched back onto the original stretcher. This refers to and implies a cyclic quality of life and its all events.