Gabby Malpas was born in 1966 in Auckland (New Zealand). Adopted as a baby, she realized only much later that she was Chinese and not “white” like the other members of her adoptive family.
Very early, her adoptive parents encouraged her to draw. She studied ceramics at the Otago Polytechnic School of Fine Art and graduated in 1986.
After her studies, Gabby Malpas switched media and turned to ink, watercolour and paper, a support for her art that is much easier to carry around on her many travels, in particular to Southeast Asia.
From 1989 to 2003, Gabby Malpas lived in the United Kingdom. She exhibited her work regularly as of 1987, but it was only as of 2004 that her dream came true and she became a full-time artist.
At that time, she decided to find her biological mother and their reunion significantly influenced her work as an artist as well as her lifestyle.
She is fascinated by the merging and abundance of oriental and western elements in the Peranakan culture. Peranakans are the descendants of the first Chinese immigrants who settled in the British colonies of Malacca, Penang and Singapore. Her works reflect multicultural influences that may seem discordant to purists; she is unconsciously defying stereotypes.
Gabby Malpas is currently living in Sydney (Australia). She exhibits, teaches watercolour and supports young artists.
Since 2010, Gabby Malpas has painted watercolours exclusively on ARCHES® Watercolor paper in 180 gsm, 300 gsm and 640 gsm, in sheets or rolls.
She particularly appreciates the colour and texture of ARCHES® Watercolor paper. The watermark of the paper as well as the 4 deckle edges are integrated into the final version of the work. She never cuts the paper, but tears it in order to obtain the deckle edges on all sides.