Fats Patrol (Fathima) is an Indian-Canadian artist born and raised in Dubai. Her work is a study of symbols and semiotics and our drive to make sense of the world through mythology, folklore and storytelling. A 3rd culture kid who has spent most of her life influenced by multiple cultures but not fully identified by one, she seeks to find narratives and messages that resonate across borders and categories.
Fats’ style of drawing takes inspiration from illustrations and comic books (her brother is a cartoonist). Her style also resonates of Indian block printed fabrics, Arabic calligraphy, and other ethnic patterns and visual influences. Her art isn’t so much about a particular culture but rather a fusion of several that all seek to tell the same stories and connect people.
Immigrating to Canada when she was 17, Fats completed a BA in Art and Culture at U of T and later an MA in Sociology in the UK. Through her studies, she has developed a love for art with purpose, particularly public art and outreach. Fats travels across the world to work with challenged communities, most recently in India and Jordan.
In 2010, she was awarded the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award in Dubai. And in 2011, she founded The Domino, a small business and platform that has helped pave the way for Dubai’s artist community and grassroots movement.
I've lived with art my entire life. I believe in it not only in terms of what it does for me as an individual but also what it can do for a community, for society, for the world. That is my reason for currently working on a diploma in art therapy. Through my work, I've always aimed to highlight the value I think that art has, be it working on community arts or with commercial clients. The way it can help people deal with their own circumstances, come together as a community, highlight and celebrate individuality and, on a purely aesthetic level, give us something better to look at than what we see everywhere all the time and, of course, spread messages, tell stories and inspire imagination. In public space, art has the ability to turn spaces into places. To bring magic and romance to otherwise mundane and dehumanized spaces. With the way the world is these days, we all need a little magic. In my public work, I research a lot of the imagery I'm using to put elements together — elements that tell a story or have a moral and resonate with people who walk by. These messages aren't obvious though, so people can also imagine their own narratives and interpretations.
Illustration, Graphic/Digital Art, Painting, Aerosol
© 2020 The PATCH (Public Art Through Construction Hoarding) Project - all images are copyrighted by the artist, unless otherwise noted