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Sail alongside Marilyn Band in her latest exhibition

Marilyn Band has been drawing and painting idyllic scenes around Phuket since she sailed to the island in 1980. She is undoubtedly the most celebrated local artist, with gallery shows at such distinctive venues as The Boathouse at Kata Beach. Her graphic designs have even animated the King’s Cup Regatta.

By Bruce Stanley

Saturday 23 November 2019, 10:00AM

Marilyn has been drawing and painting idyllic scenes around Phuket since 1980.

Marilyn has been drawing and painting idyllic scenes around Phuket since 1980.

Marilyn will present new paintings inspired by the elegant limestone formations in Phang Nga at an exhibition opening this month at Mom Tri’s Wok Gallery Kitchen.

“For this current exhibition, I am presenting new work, a more abstract expression of Phang Nga Bay’s beauty, which intends to encourage the viewer the opportunity to interpret and appreciate a little bit of paradise,” explains Marilyn.

“I am quite excited about these more abstract works as it has allowed me to explore the essence of these limestone monuments in the bay.”

Marilyn has been creating art since childhood, strongly influenced by a family of artists who surrounded her with paintings and the creations of several generations of her ancestors who designed and fabricated stained glass art.

“As a child, I recall our many family members worked in the glass studio drawing and framing small, coloured glass pieces which would fit into large windows, often in churches that had been damaged during the Second World War,” Marilyn says.

Marilyn later studied graphics at High Wycombe Technical College in Buckinghamshire, England before taking further art instruction in Florence, Italy, and at the St Ives School of Painting in Cornwall. She started her own art career as a graphic artist in a variety of advertising agencies in London.

On a holiday in the Seychelles, the direction of her life changed when she met her future partner, Nick Band. He was a world-class yacht captain based in South Africa and chartering around coastal Africa and the Indian Ocean. She joined him, and together they have been sailing the islands sprinkled around the Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia for more than 40 years. This has allowed Marilyn the opportunity to draw and paint the now-disappearing tropical cultures from Zanzibar to Sri Lanka to Phuket.

Marilyn and Nick sailed from Africa to Phuket in 1980 and immediately built a studio made from local materials that has been the centre of her art projects which extend into acrylic, oil, water colour, ink, collage and silkscreen creations.

“Phuket quickly became our home base as it had so many advantages over other islands we had visited. The local people were charming and the rural ambiance was captivating,” recalls Marilyn.

“At one point, my father came to visit to encourage me to return to England and take over the family’s stained glass operations. I was faced with taking the reins of a five-generation enterprise or continuing my life having sailing adventures with my husband. I chose life with Nick.”

During recent years, when Marilyn is out on a voyage, she sketches places where their yacht, Emerald Blue, visits. Then, when she returns to her studio, she has a full portfolio of drawings from which she can express her view of the world.

“I find the natural world a beautiful and magical place. My paintings are based on reality, inspired by many sea voyages. I paint to express my own feelings and vision of this wonderful world.”

For more information about Marilyn’s work, visit Her exhibition ‘Phang Nga Bay and Beyond’ will run from November 30, 2019 until January 31, 2020.

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