Profile: Lavar Munroe

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Throughout history, mythology has emerged from humankind’s desire to understand our surroundings and our anthropologic makeup. My research in anthropology and mythology draws from recent travels to Senegal. This investigation takes as its center the task of understanding the lives, existence, and survival of humankind with a particular interest in underprivileged. Inspired by ideas surrounding stages of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth also known as The Heroes Journey, my work comprised paintings that explore the relationship between transformation and myth.

Based on photo documents and artifacts collected over a four-year span, I have developed a series of fictitious narratives and characters known as The Redbones. The Redbones are a generation of young kids who are placed on the frontline as warriors by the wealthy within society. Ironic to the storyline is that The Redbones are a generation of kids from poverty stricken areas recruited and hand selected to fight for freedom and justice for ALL. The kids march, protest and go to war simply as a rite of passage in hopes of one day being deemed HERO by the wealthy within society.

This series draws very close parallels between the current political, institutional and societal ills being experienced today within the world.

This project takes to task, an examination and critique of journey, rites of passage, pilgrimage and the notion of martyr as hero.

In Church in the Wild, this work particularly points to rites as it relates to acts of religion, in particularly Christian Baptisms. Born and raise. in Nassau Bahamas, a self proclaimed “Christian Nation”, my interest in the act of baptism spans both from my childhood exposure to the church but also my current knowledge and understanding of past occurrences of Baptism. One would first associate baptism with biblical times where by many saints and martyrs went through this rite of passage in order to be “born again”. A parallel to recorded biblical occurrences of baptism are the taboo of  force baptisms that occurred during slavery. These served as control mechanisms throughout slavery as the colonizers mandated slaves to follow a specific train of religion and doctrine. A subsidiary of the latter has resulted in our understanding of what it is to be christian, to be born again, and the formula for entering heaven’s gates.

The sister work “Spy Boy” depicts one of the Red Bones peering from a tree as to be a look out of sorts. Visually this work can also work in tandem with “Church in the Wild”  as the boy looks on as his fellow boys/girls go through the ritual of baptism. It can also serve as a work of protest and refusal as he hides away in a tree top. also occurring in this work is he is under attack and  being bombarded with missiles (pointing to bullets or arrows).


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