Mata Hari – ‘eye of dawn’ when translated in Malay. This is my depiction of the Dutch born exotic dancer, convicted of espionage and who in my opinion, was a victim of high level conspiracies. She has been portrayed as a femme fatale archetype and one of history’s greatest spies. In 1917, the French military government found her guilty of espionage and she was executed after having spent months enduring mal-nourishment and incarceration in vermin-infested conditions. She refused a blindfold and by some accounts even smiled at all 41 executioners of her firing squad. Her body was donated to a medical school in Paris. For all the demand her body had previously inspired, nobody wanted it once she had died. I have tried to capture the her vulnerability in her innocent eyes, but her lips tell us another story.
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