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A child of the Far East, I was born in Malaysia. I remember the vivid, exotic colours of festivals, flowers, people. The days were so bright and the sun was fierce. When the rains came the lightning slashed through the night with unbelievably deafening violence. The food, too, was vivid and alive with colour: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, hot, cool, crunchy, silky.
I was a teenager in Brighton, Britain. I remember the softness of the light, the biting cold of winter, the warmth of golden summers, of finding rolling fields strewn with buttercups and daisies. There were gentle delights - the tinkling sounds made when a light breeze passed through a marina full of boats, narrow cobbled lanes, strawberry fields for picking.
And then where better to grow into adulthood than London? Sights, sounds, experiences all coming fast one upon another: architecture, galleries, museums, Camden Market, Portobello Road, Soho, Covent Garden, the River, Kew, music, ballet, theatre! Exhilarating, unexpected, dirty, beautiful, ugly, alive. I began to travel. Oh, Italy, I loved you first; with your proud palazzi in slow and dignified decay. Spain of the orange trees and olive groves. Spice-drenched, colour-suffused Morocco.
Older, I find myself on an island, fog-shrouded, rain-swept, in turns pastoral, maritime and mountainous. I travel very little now, my horizons are wood and coast. So I paint to bring back the colours I have not forgotten, to continue an unbroken thread of past and present experiences, to merge and layer the lives I have lived. It is enough; I am content.
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