Mata Hari was a Dutch exotic dancer and courtesan who was convicted of being a spy and executed by a French firing squad during the first world war. She initially studied to be a teacher but ended up married to an abusive husband, then left to become a circus horse rider and posed as an artist's model. By the age of 30, she became widely known as a captivating exotic dancer and elevated the dance to a more respectable status through the use of a skin-toned body stocking and jewelled bra. Unfortunately, because of her status and connections, the French encouraged her to spy on Germany and then later accused her of being a double agent though she always denied it and was later exonerated. She remained courageous until the end, refusing to be tied and blindfolded but instead, wearing a new suit and gloves, defiantly blew a kiss to the firing squad.
AIRdirondack Art Project