Elizabeth Briel, Travel Artist


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?Missing [Apsara]? Part 2: Headless

flower and face
Detail of headless stone apsara from “Missing [Apsara]”, Handmade Ink and Acrylic on mulberry/bamboo paper, 70 x 70cm, 2009

Part 1: “Missing [Apsara]” Expensive Accessories
Part 3: “Missing [Apsara]” Supple Status Symbols
Part 4: “Missing [Apsara]” Ramvong
Part 5: “Missing [Apsara]” Sexpats I Have Known

As I painted this dancer modeled after the thousands carved onto walls of the ancient city of Angkor Thom – some of which have had their faces hacked off for art smugglers – I thought of a few things:

* Of the heritage Cambodia loses every year because they can’t police their World Heritage sites like Angkor Wat

* How it’s more difficult to let the history of pencil strokes show beneath paint than it is to get rid of them and destroy the paper’s surface

* How often I was told – and slapped – to shut my mouth when disagreeing with elders. (Now when people don’t like what I have to say, they smile and change the subject)

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