Melissa Mailer-Yates describes how the Toyah portrait came to be:
“Thus St Pauls Gallery introduced me to Toyah. Happily Toyah lives quite close to my Mothers house so those first meet nerves were diminished somewhat by plenty of time for preparation, instead of my usual trek from the deep and distant wilds of Herefordshire. In fact I was early for goodness sake unheard of!
I had nothing to worry about as I met with the most gracious, welcoming person I have had the good fortune to meet in a long time. Perhaps being the same age helps a little, but I found I could have stayed all day and talked about everything. Moving up to Toyah’s beautifully french furnished drawing room, I found someone a natural in front of the camera, and soon I had what I wanted, together with a real sense of a woman bubbling over with her enthusiasm for life.
Once home I found I had everything I needed, the essence of a truly beautiful woman, inside and out. She was made for my New York Treatment, that is the style of work I first formulated for my New York exhibition in 1997. A combination of representational portraiture together with the abstract interpretation of her emotional self, the dance of life.”