840 x 1080 mm (33 x 42 inches)
Leatherbacks are worldwide endangered turtles. The egg-laying season in Malaysia provides a small tourism business (which in turn pays for the eggs to be collected and placed safely in a hatchery). The eyes around the painting represent the waiting tourists, some of whom will unfortunately want to touch or stroke the creature, or pick up newly hatched turtles making their way to the sea.
660 x 965 mm (26 x 38 inches)
Based on the story of a British woman who was wading the Cherating estuary in Malaysia at low tide. At low tide the river is at neck height and the area remote from the village. Suddenly she began screaming and drifting out to sea. Two men, who had been sitting in the shade of the trees on the far bank, waded in and pulled her out. They soon realised she had been stung on her foot by a stingray, and one of them immediately sucked and spat out the poison.
Crustacean Triptych I Prawn, II Lobster, III Crab
635 x 635 mm (25 x 25 inches) each
A series made in 1995. I am unsure what triggered it, but perhaps at the time there was much local talk of sea food as Rick Stein had opened his restaurant in Padstow by the time I first exhibited them. I remember while making them thinking how all three animals turn pink after cooking, and of memories of a childhood holiday in Majorca where my mother had been given a lobster to cook. I was shocked when she dropped it live into boiling water insisting it was the way to cook lobsters. I can recall the 'screams' to this day, being ushered out of the room and house and taken for a walk because of my distress.
610 x 1015 mm (24 x 40 inches)
copyright remains with the artist
One of my first batik paintings, made in Malaysia in 1990, after reading a National Geographic article about the parental roles of seahorses. That the male assumes responsibility for caring and raising the offspring (as do some other fishes) is interesting already, but he also incubates the fertilised eggs. That's dedication.
I can't recall with any certainty having seen seahorses in the wild (maybe once), but I have studied them in aquariums. They don't actually mate like this, that's just my use of 'artistic licence' to generate atmosphere.
430 x 965 mm(17 x 38 inches)
Inspired by the symbol of Singapore, the Merlion, a mythical half-fish, half-lion creature. I visited Singapore every few months to renew my visa when I lived in Malaysia. Being a Pisces, and my then boyfriend a Leo, I felt there was something personally symbolic about our relationship in the Merlion.
535 x 535 mm (21 x 21 inches)
Translucent, solid yet not solid, it's really sad to see jellyfish washed up on beaches, helpless and unhelped. They float so elegantly in water, but lose all dignity on land. This batik was a technical challenge to produce a 'white' based design. I rarely use white as a colour in my work, and although I feel I succeeded here, white still remains obscure.
510 x 510 mm (20 x 20 inches)
The variety of creatures in rock pools provides limitless inspiration - soft, hard, colourful, transparent, grouped, patterned, plain . . . Here, shrimps swim around an anemone, close but just out of its reach. One of the surrounding barnacle species is a recently invading Australian species. Native British barnacles have six plates, the alien has only four.