Pollok posing in front of the offering niche before the entrance of her house at Sanur.
She was the wife of the Belgian painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpris, who had settled in Bali in 1932 at the relatively mature age of 52. Pollok was born in 1917 at Kelandis; she learned the 'Legong' when she was six years old. Until the age of 17 she was a 'Lelong' dancer at Kedaton near Denpasar. Ni Tjiblun was her regular female partner. In 1935 Pollok and Le Mayeur were married in a traditional 'Bali-adat' ceremony. She became the painter's regular model and the couple moved into a bamboo cottage at Sanur. Their home soon became a favourite haunt of international visitors. The warm, hospitable Belgian-Balinese couple welcomed painters, filmmakers, photographers, scientists and also 'ordinary' tourists, to their home. Journalists from all over the globe also found their way to the famed residence in the lagoon, to report on this unique relationship in various papers and magazines. Le Mayeur's works became increasingly well-known, and as a result he had major exhibitions at places like Singapore and Kuala Lumpur; the openings of these shows were enlivened by special dance performances by Pollok. Meanwhile they enlarged their house more and more, and also fitted it out with splendid red and gold woodcarving work. As time went by, the beautiful garden, with its exquisite pond and sculpture collection, became known as the outdoor studio of the aging master. Pollok posed exclusively for him there; Le Mayeur permitted no else to portray her.
The painter's works drew plenty of attention and continued to sell extremely well.
Though he was most unwilling to leave the island, in January 1958 Le Mayeur travelled to Brussels to undergo surgery. He passed away at Brussels on the 31st May, after having spent twenty-six years of his life on the paradise island. He was 78 years old. Pollok returned to Bali alone.
Arthur Fleischmann wrote the following about this photograph in his manuscript:
"Small offerings are placed everyday into the shrines, quite a number of which are in every family compound. Dedicated to different gods and ancestors, shrines are mostly very simple, made of wood with a thatched roof sometimes built of bricks or carved in stone. Into one of these 'Pollok' places her daily offering. She is the wife of the Belgian painter 'Le Mayeur' who has lived in Bali for about twenty years. Pollok used to be a famous Legong dancer. Encouraged by her husband, she has continued her religious customs. On special occasions like this, she puts on her flower head-dress which is made of beaten gold."