Penang-born artist Christine Das celebrates her 50th birthday with her on-going fourth solo exhibition titled ‘[email protected]’ at the Penang Performing Arts Centre (Penangpac) in George Town.
The exhibition in conjunction with George Town Festival (GTF) not only positions Christine as a contemporary female artist but an advocate for wildlife protection.
The tipping point happened in 2013 when Christine met Little Joe, an elephant calf and sole survivor of mysterious poisoning that wiped out an entire herd of wild Borneo pygmy elephants in Sabah.
That personal encounter impacted Christine to bring awareness of protection and conservation through her paintings and led to a long-term collaboration with Borneo Conservation Trust.
In 2014, she designed her Purple Elephant T-shirts for The World Wide Fund- Malaysia (WWF-Malaysia) to help raise funds to help the endangered Borneo elephants and Malaysian wildlife.
[email protected] is about my turning 50, the theme is about who I am, how I feel; brimming with excitement and being appreciative of my core values,” Christine told Malaysia Outlook.
Her gifted paintings of nature are dramatic and striking.
She paints flowing lines over flamboyant strokes of reds, orange, blues, greens and purple.
Her acrylic-on-canvas modern stylised paintings are mirror-images “selfies” which she sees her alter ego Gaia, the personification of Mother Nature, as the main theme.
Beautiful nude Gaia stylised with plump breasts and puffy nipples with her long tresses trailing behind her, at one with nature in the rainforest.
There are 18 new works for this series with another three Gaia paintings from 2015.
The final painting for this series is titled “Faith” where Gaia flees from dense weed beds underwater.
A mythical bird is seen kissing Gaia as it saves her from drowning.
The confident Christine confessed to struggling with severe depression at one point in her life which she refers to as her meltdown.
“I was so anxious back then and found myself in a downward spiral. Painting was therapeutic and I drew strength from my faith,” she said.
Her renewed spirituality is reflected in her devotional art comprise of 14-piece “Stations of the Cross” on permanent display in the Church of Thomas More, Subang Jaya, Selangor and the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Penang.
Christine’s struggles in her twenties and thirties in the corporate world were lessons learnt to empower herself as she grew in stature from a graphic artist to full time artist committed to animal conservation.
She is not attached to any gallery and chooses to be her own marketer and curator.
“My paintings are simple. I am amazed when I listen to the public react to my art and see my femininity through my new works. I am happy when people see the beauty of Nature.”
[email protected] is open daily from now until August 28 at the PenangPac.
Find out more about Christine Das at www.christinedas.com or contact her at [email protected] or 012-380 8191.