Dulcie Foo Fat
Waterton Before the Fire, 2019
Artist’s Statement: I make art because the process engages me. Working from postcard size photographs, mostly of landscapes but occasionally of figures or interiors, I am attracted to an image by the way in which light reveals form through the modulation of colour and to the complex rhythms which structure…
I make art because the process engages me. Working from postcard size photographs, mostly of landscapes but occasionally of figures or interiors, I am attracted to an image by the way in which light reveals form through the modulation of colour and to the complex rhythms which structure the microscopic landscape of the forest floor.
Motivated by an excitement and desire to “know” my source material through the process of rendering it, I have a great respect for the visual facts as I find them. I sense that, in the small universe of rocks and microscopic lichen that are frequently my subject, apparently random events are in fact determined by variables or laws of physics and biology too innumerable to quantify.
My influences range from the depiction of the nature in early Renaissance painting and the interiors of Vermeer to the colour field abstractions of Jackson Pollock. I would like to create an art that occupies a territory between Abstract Expressionism and Photorealism. My unfashionably apolitical ambition is, in the manner of a craftsperson, and in a world saturated with art objects, to add a few works of beauty. In doing this I record the fragile groundscapes of the Rocky Mountains, part of the shrinking natural world of which we have custody.
For me evolution is a slow and intuitive process. I am presently trying to relinquish control and balance deliberate marks with chance events. In recent works I have begun to fracture and focus on still smaller areas of the images which are my subject, eliminating contextual clues. I aspire to transcend my source material, the photograph.
Dulcie Foo Fat was born in London, England in 1946. She obtained a B.A. in painting from Reading University in 1969 and an M.A. in Fine Art from the University of Calgary in 1974. In 1977-78 she was awarded a Canada Council B grant and in 1989 received an Alberta Project grant which enabled her to undertake a photographic expedition in the Northern Yukon. In 1985 she was a resident visiting artist at the Djerassi Foundation in Woodside, California and in 1990 a visiting artist in the Department of art at the University of Waterloo, Ontario.
Throughout the past thirty years her paintings have been exhibited nationally and internationally including a solo travelling exhibition organized by the Whyte Museum in 1987 (Dance With Minutiæ: the Paintings of Dulcie Foo Fat). Her work is included in many private and public collections in Canada and other countries including those of the Glenbow Museum, the Mendel Art Gallery, the McMichael Canadian Collection, the University of Calgary and Lethbridge University, and the Whyte Museum. Dulcie lives and works in Calgary. She teaches for the University of Calgary and the Alberta College of Art and Design.