Art Detail | Ilham Gallery

Segments of vibrant prismatic colours come together in this abstract composition to depict Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir’s unique exploration of the mental space. In Solitude, she manifests dynamic interactions between blues, greens, yellows and reds in a varied composite of geometrical yet organic shapes to express an internal response to the state of being alone. Sharifah Fatimah’s search for an artistic identity has been closely linked to her Islamic faith.

Acrylic on canvas
93 x 56 cm
Credit Line:
Collection of ILHAM Foundation
© Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir
About Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir

Sharifah Fatimah Syed Zubir (b.1948) was born in Alor Setar, Kedah. An accomplished abstract artist and painter, she is well known for her experimental use of unconventional materials and techniques. She was among the pioneering batch of fine art students from the Mara Institute of Technology in 1967 and later continued her training at Reading University in England in 1973 where she graduated with first class honours. Under the John D Rockefeller III Fund fellowship, she obtained a Master’s degree in the field of Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute, New York in 1976. She has won numerous art awards, including the Major Award from the Salons Malaysia 1979, and the 1981 Bakat Muda Sezaman award. Her works have been exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Sharjah Art Museum in the United Arab Emirates and the Singapore Art Museum, For her contributions, she was conferred a Dato’ship by the Sultan of Kedah in 2006. Marking the 50th anniversary of her career as an artist in 2017, she presented a solo exhibition, Song of Eucalyptus at the Segaris Art Centre, Kuala Lumpur. 

Further Readings

Learning Section

  • What is your first reaction to the painting. Write down 3 adjectives that describe the painting. Write down 3 nouns that connect with the painting. Write down 3 verbs which connect to the painting. What questions do you have about this painting. Think of three questions you would like to ask the artist about his work.

  • Describe what you see in this painting. What colours has the artist used? Are there any dominant colours? What other colours are used and where? What shapes do you see in the painting? Are there any shapes that you recognise? How has the artist used light in the painting? Are there areas which are darker than others? Where are the brightest areas?

  • What is the atmosphere of this painting? What feelings does it evoke? What does it make you think of? What does it remind you of? Why does the artist call the painting solitude, in your opinion? If you were to rename the painting, what name would you give it?