The Holy Lake, Grand Bassin, Mauritius

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Watercolour of the Holy Lake, Grand Bassin, Mauritius, Róisín Curé

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Limited edition print (200). Watercolour area 368 x 290 mm. This painting was made in 2012 on the Indian ocean island of Mauritius.

This lake at Grand Bassin is the site of pilgrimage for the Hindus of Mauritius, who walk to it from all over the island in the blistering heat of February during Mahashivaratree. I was slightly worried that people might object to me painting it, but as usual, the Mauritians were generosity and grace personified. “God bless your hands,” said a woman in a beautiful sari, “God bless your body.” The gods are built at the edge of the lake, and when the water is high, they appear to rise ethereally from the misty surface: mystical, indeed. There are wild monkeys who descend from the trees around the lake, which is in the hills. They take the fruit offerings from the little concrete pedestals which surround the lake. They are quite vicious.