Barking Up the Right Tree


Her accomplishments using colour and her unique incorporation of eucalyptus bark in her works are among the qualities that set Datuk Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir apart as an artist.

In the finest example of Nature in painting, Datuk Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir has “bud-grafted” the bark of the eucalyptus onto her canvas, with its rusty-reddish brown permutations, uncanny textures and raffish edgy tendrils.

The barks, tempered, treated and tenderised, are blended seamlessly with acrylic paint – sometimes with a little modelling paste for good measure – and an assortment of other small strips of plaited pandan, papyrus and handmade paper as collages to create visions of imaginary blotches that could even resemble figures or vistas of mock lofty landscapes or sceneries. In these, the irregular bark flanges simulate certain forms or shapes reminiscent of her earlier more lyrical abstractions and divine meditations.

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