Fabienne Francotte The lady from Brussels painting with a different style. She’s first and foremost an artist with empathy
6 January 2020 02:50 pm
Words : Indika Madapatha Sellahewa
Photos : Rushiru Tharanga
Working with patients of Angoda, The National Institute for Mental Health, drawing with the female forensic and the adolescent unit and volunteering in Maha Wewa in Chilaw with deaf kids, she has seen suffering first hand and brings out their stories in her paintings. Fabienne also regularly travels to countries such as Bangladesh and Nepal exhibiting her paintings and working with refugees and refugee camps and the poorest of the poor people. She is the wife of the former Ambassador to the European Union, H.E. Tung-Lai Margue who retired from his position recently.
Can you please tell Lanka Woman about your passion for art and the creations that you make?
It came quite late, regarding visual arts, but when I was young I studied to become a ballet dancer in the major company of Belgium, which is my country. But at the end I didn’t succeed and I was at the time 18 years old. It was almost like a profession on my mind and a dream. Then I spent almost 10 years working in marketing and going back to school as my degree was as a language teacher. When I was 42 I wanted to say things. I was quite disconsolate in my life, well, unhappy. So I started to write text. Chapters of my life, which was to start like calligraphy. And then I moved to collage, I also had that kind of inspiration from the kids and students I was working with. So it became a common language to leave drawings and sketches in notebooks. And then all of a sudden I had the surprise to be able to exhibit in my country, in France and Italy, as well, and then when we moved to Sri Lanka in 2016, I quit my job and as I’m the spouse of the EU Ambassador and I’m not allowed to work in Sri Lanka. So I worked on my art like a daily necessity. A daily activity. I worked in the night when everyone went to bed I worked like a late bird. In Sri Lanka it became stronger as I was connected to my drawings.
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