Whether it is a particular landscape or flower, for me these paintings are inspirations of Egypt 's light.
She was invited to participate in the Women's Art Festival International, Aleppo , Syria in May of 2000. Marilyn was one of two Canadian artists in an exhibition featuring work from fifteen countries.
In addition to painting landscapes, she focused on a series of "hand" portraits, painting only the hands and critical elements photo realistically, and leaving the rest as a simple brushstroke. Batte also produced some personal works, a form of "art therapy", experimenting with acrylic, rather then her usual oil, using large bristle brushes, and allowing the image to form through emotion. At that time, Batte enjoyed the challenge of capturing the subtleties of people's skin.
In the summer of 2001 she exhibited her paintings at La Bodega.
After living in Singapore for two years, she returned to Egypt for her exhibition, "Egypt Revisited - A Stroll through the Past" at the World of Art Gallery. It was a strange time of memory, transition and closure.
Her catalogue read:
Egypt is a country with a long and ancient past. Past, present, future: defined, yet sometimes intangible definitions of the time. And what is time, except experiences, events, emotions and
thoughts. Often, it is the memorabilia; the objects and photographs that prompt the memories; visual images, as are my paintings. They elicit memories.
Revisiting this country, where I lived and painted for ten years is an occasion similar to turning pages of a photo album, remembering the time and the places: Upper Egypt, the Oases of the Western Desert, the Mediterranean Coast, the Suez, the Sinai, and of course, Cairo. This exhibition includes some of the work created during that time. Whatever changes have occurred during my absence cannot affect my memories of the past.
My goal was always to capture and recreate the unique essence of the place on canvas so that a person looking at a painting feels that they are in the actual space. I searched for the simplicity and splendor existing there, and tried to express it for others to see and remember.
Egypt , for me, was, is and will always be a special place. It is a land of diverse beauty with its open deserts, fertile river, colourful seas, ancient rock and majestic mountains. It resides in my heart and my memories for its time, people and inspiration.
Batte has temporarily returned to Canada where she has resumed painting and exploring new projects and challenges.