Nature-inspired mural for Pickering’s West Shore nearly set for unveiling

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Published October 12, 2023 at 11:26 am

A waterfront and nature-inspired mural is nearing completion at Pickering’s West Shore Skate Spot, with award-winning artist FATSPATROL now on the scene putting the final touches on her work, dubbed ‘You Can Never Close Nature.’

FATSPATROL (Fathima Mohiuddin), an international artist of Indian origin with a Dubai upbringing and a Canadian passport. – “A true 3rd culture kid,” as she described herself – was commissioned by the City this year to paint a community mural on the skate surface of the brand new skate park, which opened one year ago.

The artist, in collaboration with Mural Routes, was selected to create the public art piece, with community consultations and paint workshops held this summer helping with the creation and execution of the design.

“The subject matter for this artwork – the pike, the walleye, the water, sunsets and sunrises, the heron, the swan, trail patterns, foliage, ripples on the water – all came from two community consultations where local members stressed the significance of West Shore as an area of natural abundance and diversity,” noted Mohiddin. “I interpreted these in the style of using bold colours, patterns and black lines that have featured in my work since the start of my creative practice. The use of bold black lines comes from a study of mark-making and my early influences of comic books, tribal Indian art (e.g., Kalamkari), Middle Eastern Textiles and later graffiti.”

“The intent was for this artwork to be bold as a graphic style favoured by some local youth, and to visually enhance the features of the Skate Spot to allow users of the park to differentiate its surfaces.”

The artist, Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe and members of Council will officially unveil the mural October 20 with an event planned for the West Shore Community Centre on Bayly Street starting at 4 p.m.

FATSPATROL’s bold graphic style of drawing is a hybrid language from a medley of influences, including summers in India with humanitarian grandparents and exposure to Indian folk art, artifacts, and mythology.

Other influences include growing up in multicultural Dubai in a Muslim home exposed to Islamic art, calligraphy, henna, and folklore, reading comic books as a kid, having a sister who is a cartoonist and a mother who loved language, poetry, and narrative.

All this combined helps her work tells poetic personal stories with universal notes.

FATSPATROL has painted murals in 10 countries, has been commissioned for commercial projects for brands including Red Bull and Tiger Beer and has worked on outreach projects with challenged communities in Jordan and India, helping her career as a curator and artist captures the place of art in society from all angles.

She believes “fundamentally” in art’s ability to help heal and move the world forward as well as being a means of making sense of our existence, creating human connection and awareness and finding universal truths.

In 2010 she founded The Domino, one of the United Arab Emirates’ first artist-led creative consultancy dedicated to urban art.

Mohiuddin received the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award in Dubai in 2010 and has since played an active role in the developing street art scene in the Middle East as a curator and voice for women artists of colour.

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