click on image to return to print index
"Once more, once again, still once more, after Repin",
image size 16.5 x 18 cm, edition of 12.
Ilya Repin was a famous painter before the revolution. Probably his most famous work was "Barge Haulers on the Volga" which inspired the "Song of the Volga Boatmen", famously sung by Chaliapin and Paul Robeson. It is often used in the context of unremitting toil or devotion to duty. Although those barges no longer exist there are other cargoes to haul.
The yacht is owned by a Russian oligarch, the haulers are my friends from Walthamstow who at a time when I thought I was leaving the borough I wanted remember.
This work formes part of a triptych for an exhibition in Pushkin House in Central London entitled "A Suite of Lighted Rooms: reflections on Russian Culture".
Entitled "The Little Tragedies" the triptych was based on work of the same name written by Pushkin in the early 1830s, and are highly compressed "chamber dramas", dealing with the contradictions of being human. I thought the title fitted they work I was trying to undertake focusing as they do on a protagonist at a crucial moment of moral choice.