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I am a fine art painter with 30 years of experience. I have spent my life travelling and recording human existence in the most distant and exotic locations in 99 countries.

My project is a metaphorical attempt to formulate a response to my observations of people, who are entrapped in waiting, while being suspended in the vacuum of hypnotic repetition. I have gathered substantial primary sources and evidence from destinations across the
globe. Perhaps, the most significant research findings were from Haiti and Myanmar and resulted in the production of the most spectacular paintings. They have inspired me to develop new and innovative
ways of working and experimenting with image making, which are appropriate to the subject. They combine the best of traditional achievements and the power of contemporary thinking and deep reflection. I work full time as a programme coordinator for Art & Design at a large institution offering a broad range of FE and HE qualifications. I am also an external examiner for the UAL and AQA.

Artist Statement:
Through my projects, I feel that I discover my inner fears, longings and re-evaluate my uncertainties. My work seems to be an attempt to explore and question by metaphorical presentation my response to the hidden truths of the world. The essence of the value of these works is in their inherent meaning and an atmosphere, which manifests itself in the dusk of the space portrayed, thus the light may appear, where the hue of colour fulfils clarity and sounds with harmonious melody.


This presentation covers a summary and visual outcome of my research, practical experimentation and analysis, which I have developed in consequence to my investigation into hypnotic repetition over the last
few years. My work is about an attempt to develop a visual response. In contradiction to logic, opportunities arise in life to break the mundane phenomenon of entrapment and never-changing routine. Perhaps, with increased sensitivity of observation, we would be able to free ourselves from this ballast and seek other endeavours and experiences to continue to make progress, develop and flourish. This crazy pirouette continues forever. One broken cycle leads to another entrapment. New becomes old almost instantly. One fulfilment
unexpectantly turns into a disaster and we remain unsatisfied, while travelling on a piece of rock through space – paradoxically, entrapped in a hope that the final destination is anything but death! However, with great and vulgar arrogance, we continue to refuse to accept that nothing lasts forever and everything will turn into dust.
Dust and darkness (sic!)

One-Legged Pool Player
The One-Legged Player is totally on the task. Her appearance looks frivolous and
theatrical to distract from her determination and the fact that she cannot afford to miss
any shots. Her outwards image portrays glamour and fame, but the reality is
diametrically different.
The One-Legged Player is frozen in a stretched position, suspended in the vacuum of
repetition. Every shot is executed in an identical posed pose in a hope to attract
attention and increase the stakes, hence maximise profits.
I am hesitant to come to conclusions that there is something repulsive about it. The first
impressions of wonder and curiosity are replaced with laughter and astonishment. The
performance continues regardless.
Mixed media on canvas

Coach to Myiek
This piece portrays a coach driver. He is preparing to leave Kawthoung for a 20-hour
long journey to Myiek. The road is terrible and unpredictable. His old coach must be in a
top condition before the passengers are allowed to board.
The driver looks very tired and substantially overweight. He spends his life driving his
coach between those two distant cities in Myanmar. Mixed media on board.

Burmese Captain
This work portrays a Burmese captain in charge of a long boat. His job is to transport
people and cargo from Ranong in Thailand to Kawthoung at the furthest southern point
of Myanmar. His main clientele are poor illegal workers from Burma trying to earn a few
baht in Thailand.
Following a long conversation with him, I become one of his passengers. To maximise
income, he accepts as many people as possible. He even travels on the very front of
the boat to save valuable space. This place is very uncomfortable and rocky. He is also
fully exposed there to the power of the tropical sun. He tries to get some relief from the
burning heat by hiding under a colourful umbrella.
The image is very clashing in colour – very kitsch. This is further enhanced by his crude
and cramped body position. His ankle reveals a massive tumour.
There is a gigantic growth on his leg, perhaps caused by prolonged exposure to the sun
and continued contact with polluted water in the port.
My creative intention was to portray him in his usual setting, while crossing the same
water many times every day.
The focus is on him. The beautiful surroundings no longer matter. He cannot see the
landscape. He is trapped in his daily routine.
The colour of his shirt blends in with the orange stripes of paint on the boat. The
umbrella is feminine and looks absolutely ridiculous.
Mixed media on marine matt

Three Monks Begging

This new piece portrays three Burmese monks taking a break from their money
collecting duties, while entertaining themselves with a large group of pigeons.
In the area, 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.

Little Girl with Butterflies
This is a portrait of a young, beautiful and idyllic-looking Haitian girl
playing with butterflies. I met her during my travels through Haiti,
where most people survive on less than 1$ per day.
She is totally oblivious of her origin.
She does not understand, why she is consistently ostracised and
bullied. Her skin is white, and her eyes are baby blue. She definitively
stands out!
She has never heard of Poland. Her home is on a little island called
Petit Goave.
She is a descendent of Polish legionnaires, who were sent to Haiti by
Napoleon to suppress an uprising of slaves. However, having realised
the extent of exploration and abuse, the Poles changed sides and
fought in support of the oppressed indigenous people. Subsequently,
most of them were punished and slaughtered. A few lucky ones
managed to disperse to the islands.

Disabled Palenque
This is a portrait of a young Haitian girl called Palenque. She is heavily
disabled. Her arms are distorted and twisted. She is in constant pain.
Today, she is celebrating her 16th birthday. Her eyes are full of joy
and spark of life, and she smiles beautifully.
She is totally overwhelmed by an unexpected present from a stranger
– a mobile phone.

Punhana
Punhane, in Azeri, means ‘secret’. I have got to know her quite well.
She was diligent, perceptive and intuitive. She made a very positive
impression on me. Her outgoing personality was enhanced by a very
natural look, reserved and introvert personality and beautiful young
face with long hair and no makeup.
Revealing her deepest secret could cost her life.
She is Armenian. Since the war, both countries are filled with hatred
towards each other.

Thai Masseur
This is a portrait of a single mum of three. She originates from a poor
village in the North. Her new life is in Pattaya. Before the pandemic,
her days were very monotonous and repetitive. She used to work 17-
hour-long days as a masseur. Now, in lockdown, her shop is closed.
She dreams about returning to her previous life and the former status
quo.

Pearl Twink
Pearl Twink lives in Lagos, Nigeria. She is transsexual. She fears for
her life and her sexuality is her biggest secret. She is a fashion icon.
The piece tries to question the presumption within our prejudice and
allows us to understand the contradictory point of view – the opposite
perspective. Therefore, forcing us to confront and reflect on our own
behaviour in the context of making judgements without thinking and
appropriate analysis. We simply devalue the status of a person from a
different culture. Labelling and categorising removes individuality and
creates a climate for a lack of our responsibility towards them.

Tell us a few words about yourself. When did you begin doing art and how did you get started? When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Pav: I am a fine art painter with some interest in video and digital work.  I started showing passion for art and culture during my teens and progressed to study painting, and then, fine art digital at postgraduate level. I have spent my life travelling, in order to gather valuable insight into the human condition and our common predicaments.  My research focuses on uncertainty, which makes us vulnerable and fragile.  My most recent work looks also at coping mechanisms and how suspension in the vacuum of hypnotic repetition can help us to deal with the pointlessness of existence.

I must say, when I read your bio, I was quite fascinated by your project. Tell me more about “response to your observations” of people you’ve encountered, and how you’ve captured it and transformed into art.

Pav: I have thoroughly enjoyed an exciting, life-changing and broad-ranging research journey during the last 25 years.  As a result of my world travels, I had a wealth of resources and unique observations of the dynamics of life across humanity.  However, I was oblivious to a universal truth, which reveals a common link across nations, cultures and races. My initial research was concerned with the clarification of my creative intentions and learning to understand the potential and value of my learning process. During reviewing my primary sources and research findings, I noticed reoccurring characteristics across the different data. Therefore, my focus begun to be placed on investigating and questioning the concept on ‘waiting for change’ in a hope for improvement. I recorded numerous people entrapped in poverty, who were suspended in vacuum of detachment, frozen in a bizarre inactivity without any chances for progress, development and achievement. My work is a multi-layered, metaphorical and interpretative portrayal of my observations.

You’ve spent your life travelling and recording human existence. If you could choose one place that was most fascinating, which one would it be, and why?

Pav: It is quite an impossible question to answer.  Perhaps the most fundamental research findings and experiences I gathered were from Haiti.  The depth of depravity and sheer quantity of pollution and human suffering were simply beyond my comprehension.  The emotional impact of this was translated into a range of expressive portraits of the locals, who attempted to survive against all odds and persevere with their routine lives undaunted.

How do you keep your ideas fresh?

Pav: The things I frequently see are so dramatic and intense that it would be physically impossible not to be inspired and feel compelled to respond to them.  I try to keep in touch with people I record during my research expeditions.

What is a day of working like in your studio?  Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?

Pav: There is no routine nor ritual.  My painting process is quite spontaneous and random, based on using many contradictory layers and supporting my work with printing, glazing and distressing.

What’s the most challenging part of your artistic process? And how do you overcome it?

Pav: Establishing the concept for each piece in relation to the experience and rapport with the model.  This makes my work very personal and subjected to several ethical considerations.  Afterall, I paint real people with challenging lives and full of feelings and emotions.

What’s the coolest art tip you’ve ever received?

Pav: Stop painting and do something useful!

What advice would you give to upcoming artists, how to think out-of-the-box and grow?

Pav: Devote yourself to authentic research and formulate a meaningful creative intention before making any commitments to one particular subject or idea.

What’s next on the horizon for you?

Pav: I am travelling back to Africa in December to continue with my project in Tanzania.  I started with an extensive body of work there during the summer, and feel that I need to learn more to discuss the changing world and status quo, in the context of the pandemic.

To learn more about Pav and his art, please check:

https://hypnoticrepetition.com/

https://pavszymanski.myportfolio.com/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOq7lHQlrOnKozGz95Hq2CA?view_as=subscribehttps:

www.instagram.com/pavszymanski/?hl=en

https://spark.adobe.com/page/fQ9VytzHNpWq9/?hl=/

Thank you!

 

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