Dulcie Foo Fat was born in London, England in 1946. She obtained a BA in painting from Reading University in 1969 and an MA in Fine Art from the University of Calgary in 1974. In 1989 she received an Alberta Project grant which enabled her to undertake a photographic expedition in the Northern Yukon.
Her paintings involve a multi-step development process. Many of her images begin with small-scale photographic studies of landscapes or of details of the detritus, plant-life and patterns of colours revealed by natural light which illuminates the ground in forest interiors.
Her painted views of the forest floors – or “groundscapes” – offer the viewer a perspectival shift from a horizontal ground plane or low angle point of view to a vertical one. The all-over arrangement of flowers, grasses and other elements rendered by minutely detailed brushwork demonstrate not only the artist’s ability and confidence in handling the medium, but also indicates her capability to move beyond the notions of illustration to position her work within abstraction.
Through their command of their respective media, both Dulcie Foo Fat and Edward Burtynsky have transformed seemingly mundane details of nature into an engaging presence for contemplation.
Foo Fat says that her influences “range from the depiction of the nature in early Renaissance painting and the interiors of Vermeer to the colour field abstractions of Jackson Pollock. I would like to create an art that occupies a territory between Abstract Expressionism and Photorealism. My ambition is, in the manner of a craftsperson, to add a few works of beauty to the world.”