The western proverb to ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ is set alight here as an allegory for colonial apologism and denial. The resting dog is a Rampur hound, bred into existence by a Nawab of Rampur state during the British Raj in India. The bloodlines of the English greyhound and the ferocious Tāzī hound from Afghanistan were combined to create a more obedient hunting dog, highly desired by the Maharajahs and the rich. Today the breed exists as a rare pet, owned primarily by India’s upper-caste financial elite, many of whom carry nostalgia for the greater material wealth their family possessed under British rule. I am naked and awake, embracing the symbolic sleeping animal as we lie upon the Union Jack, bodies about to be immolated in a fire resembling the inverted maps of India and Sri Lanka.
2016, indian in markerk, watercolour, coloured pencil and synthetic polymer paint on Stonehenge cotton paper, 112 × 77cm / 44 × 30 in