From one imag­i­na­tive gen­er­a­tion to another, Fa­timah Is­mail, tex­tile artist ex­traor­di­naire, passes her vi­sion­ary ge­nius to her daugh­ter, Marini Ram­lan, who is spread­ing the joy of art near and far. By Sharmita Summugam.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - LIFE JUNIOR -

MARINI RAM­LAN: When I was about five or six, I re­mem­ber my mother cre­at­ing lit­tle art ac­tiv­i­ties for me and my cousins to do, such as batik paint­ing in the gar­den. Mostly I re­mem­ber her giv­ing me a lot of art sup­plies to play with. I was spoilt for choice, as what she gave me was of high qual­ity, and I was also given free ac­cess to her home stu­dio where I could take all the yarn I wanted and cut up any fab­ric to turn into clothes for my dolls! Mum wasn’t a hands-on art teacher, more of an en­abler. She gave us the free­dom to mess around. I could paint on my bed­room walls, shoes, and clothes, if I felt the need to. She would teach me through ques­tion and an­swer. I have a good sense of de­sign and colour, which I picked up lis­ten­ing to her cri­tiques with stu­dents or by her ac­tu­ally lec­tur­ing me. The lat­ter has not stopped! We have been talk­ing about col­lab­o­rat­ing on a line to­gether. It’s in the works for sure but we’re in no hurry and it’s a process I would like to en­joy and to hap­pen nat­u­rally with­out force.

There is a sense of peace and hap­pi­ness I feel when I paint. It’s a form of med­i­ta­tion that leaves me re­freshed. I find joy in shar­ing my love for art, whether it’s through shar­ing my work in progress, do­ing live paint­ings or con­duct­ing art lessons. Art is very im­por­tant to bal­ance your mind. I’m not say­ing we should all be artists, but I do be­lieve in har­ness­ing the imag­i­na­tion. One way to do that is to play and make things with your hands at an early age, and to con­tinue this straight into adult­hood. Fa­timah Is­mail, the vi­sion­ary ma­tri­arch

I wanted to share this idea with peo­ple, and fig­ured the best way to do that was to show through ex­am­ple. I have Mum to thank for teach­ing me how to teach us­ing in­stinct and logic. Back in 2011, I had a strong urge to give back to so­ci­ety through art. So I de­cided to work with kids who could use a boost of art in their life. I found Yayasan Chow Kit through Dr. Tini Zain­ud­din whom I met at a char­ity event. It was the per­fect place to start my #art­for­life (a term I use to re­mind me to find time to do my art) pro­gramme. The con­cept is about mak­ing art fun, boost­ing the imag­i­na­tion through mess­ing around with art.

Marini Ram­lan and Eva Za­hara Os­man

Orig­i­nal tex­tile art by Fa­timah Is­mail

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