I called this painting ‘Loop the Loop’. It shows (in fairly unscientific detail) carnivorous Madagascan pitcher plants, of the genus Nepenthes. Memorable to me because on my first trip to Madagascar aged 22 I was really struck by their exotic jungley appearance. I had never been in the tropics before, and I was reading Robert Drury’s Journal , a book published in 1729 recalling a shipwreck off the coast of Madagascar. It is thought that the book is largely a genuine account, but many of the facts within the book are inaccurate. Drury recounts fifteen years on the island living as a slave, marrying, having generally sensational adventures and finally escaping on a slave ship back to England. He writes of pitcher plants large enough to devour humans, and I believed every word. On an island where you can still pick up the eggshells of birds as tall as elephants, this did not seem overly unlikely to me. It did not help that my Madagascan friends assured me it was true.
When I returned I painted a triptych based on a Madagascan rainforest, commissioned for a staircase wall. I wove pitcher plants through it from snakey blackness at the bottom to a canopy filled with sunbirds, and I loved painting it. ‘Loop the Loop‘ is based on my first triptych, and I painted it for Adele at Moonloft, who recently helped me to set up my new website, and in return requested a colourful, jungly painting for her office. Thank you Adele and Sarah!