Fabienne Francotte Belgium , b. 1959

Overview

Belgium-born Fabienne Francotte's works combine social, emotional and spiritual experiences; the vivid narrative of an expatriate, teacher and observer. Francotte studied calligraphy at Maison du Livre in Brussels, whereby the careful composition of writing demanded a strict, ritualistic approach built on strong gesture and balance. Her portraits are about the characteristics of class, gender, and race. They are a tale of the daily struggle showing distinctive appearances, expressions, and gestures. Her people are everyday and anonymous. The artist moved to Sri Lanka in 2016 after which she began engaging and communicating conflicting issues in Sri Lanka today: school and education, dreams and weddings, sex and business, silence and fear, courage and dedication, as well as religion and tolerance. Her works are often surveys of her surroundings and environment;  juxtapositions of emotional exchanges and simple observations.

Works
  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 06, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 06, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    87 x 65 cm
    34 1/4 x 25 5/8 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 05, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 05, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    87 x 67 cm
    34 1/4 x 26 3/8 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 02, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 02, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    87cm x 66cm
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 03, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 03, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    87cm x 67cm
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 01, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 01, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    88cm x 67cm
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 04, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 04, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    88cm x 66cm
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Prayer Rug 07, 2018
    Fabienne Francotte
    Prayer Rug 07, 2018
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    87cm x 69cm
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  • Fabienne Francotte, I Can Walk Mentally II, 2020
    Fabienne Francotte
    I Can Walk Mentally II, 2020
    Mixed Media on Paper
    42 x 30 cm
    16 1/2 x 11 3/4 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, I Can Walk Mentally VII, 2020
    Fabienne Francotte
    I Can Walk Mentally VII, 2020
    Mixed Media on Paper
    42 x 30 cm
    16 1/2 x 11 3/4 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, I Can Walk Mentally IV, 2020
    Fabienne Francotte
    I Can Walk Mentally IV, 2020
    Mixed Media on Paper
    42 x 30 cm
    16 1/2 x 11 3/4 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, I Can Walk Mentally V, 2020
    Fabienne Francotte
    I Can Walk Mentally V, 2020
    Mixed Media on Paper
    42 x 30 cm
    16 1/2 x 11 3/4 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, I Can Walk Mentally IX, 2020
    Fabienne Francotte
    I Can Walk Mentally IX, 2020
    Mixed Media on Paper
    42 x 30 cm
    16 1/2 x 11 3/4 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Nobody Knows, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Nobody Knows, 2021
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    94 x 101 cm
    37 1/8 x 39 3/4 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Again, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Again, 2021
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    105 x 145 cm
    41 3/8 x 57 1/8 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, I Love You, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    I Love You, 2021
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    145 x 109 cm
    57 1/8 x 42 7/8 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Wire, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Wire, 2021
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    110 x 104 cm
    43 1/4 x 41 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Talk, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Talk, 2021
    Mixed Media on Canvas
    146 x 109 cm
    57 1/2 x 42 7/8 in
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Winding Tracks, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Winding Tracks, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Sinhala, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Sinhala, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cm
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Roar of Thunder, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Roar of Thunder, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Black Line, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Black Line, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cms
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Doggy, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Doggy, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cm
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Aroma of Tea, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Aroma of Tea, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Oral Stories, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Oral Stories, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cm
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Mountaintop View, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Mountaintop View, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cm
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Partitions, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Partitions, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Pepper Tree and My Imaginary Leaf, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Pepper Tree and My Imaginary Leaf, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Chair At The Gate, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Chair At The Gate, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cm
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Holy Hulu Ganga, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Holy Hulu Ganga, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, Tika, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    Tika, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    34 x 47 cm
    13 3/8 x 18 1/2 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, A Wooden Trophy, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    A Wooden Trophy, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Parasite, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Parasite, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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  • Fabienne Francotte, The Pettagama, 2021
    Fabienne Francotte
    The Pettagama, 2021
    Mixed Media on Paper
    30 x 37 cm
    11 3/4 x 14 5/8 inches
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Biography

After 20 years of working with children in Belgium, the artist began her artistic practice with a course in calligraphy, a technique that is still evident in much of her work. Having exhibited her works extensively in Europe, the artist moved to Sri Lanka in 2016 and continued to engage with communities across different social strata, allowing her to absorb her new environment and interpret these experiences into her first exhibition of works in Colombo, 'It's Like Someone Took My Soul'. The portraits, inspired by Fabienne's personal journey through daily life and the complexities of the Sri Lankan identities she met. The works were infused with the essence of her many interactions, which then, at the time of their creation, spontaneously intermingle with her memories and her mood. While featuring external, physical features, her works lend insight to the inside of each persona. She reveals an interior human world, at times disturbing, but always beautiful. Through her art, Fabienne becomes an unintentional conduit of the soul.

 

Her portraits are about the characteristics of class, gender, and race. They are a tale of the daily struggle showing distinctive appearances, expressions, and gestures. Her people are everyday and anonymous. Through them, she communicates the conflicting issues in Sri Lanka today: school and education, dreams and weddings, sex and business, silence and fear, courage and dedication, as well as religion and tolerance.

 

For Fabienne, drawing is thinking. It is the language she speaks. She concentrates on the encouragement of free self-expression through drawing, painting, and sculpture. It is this same freedom and empathy that she brings to her time spent at the NIMH in Angoda and at the Siviraja Children's Development Center for the deaf and blind. Facilitating a "breath of fresh air," through art making, exploration, and encouragement, Fabienne provides a space for students and patients to confidentially draw outside the lines. Drawing functions as a safety net, giving the students the feeling of being "normal." Her goal is to combine education, self esteem, and quality of life in each experience with her students.

 

'Being the Other' maps junctures of shared trauma communicated through wordless intimacies experienced by the artist as she was invited to Bangladesh. Following traces of bodies once whole, now violently contorted, Francotte inquires about what responsibility we have toward the visible or even the partially visible. The empty backgrounds holding these isolated figures implicate the viewer in a kind of involvement. They ask us to consider how we manoeuvre questions of responsibility when we are confronted with the experiences of others. A skimmed viewing of the pieces may risk engendering associations of loneliness, abuse, and suffering. The artist encourages sustained looking instead, particularly toward the images that a viewer may find hard to take in. Francotte invites to "not just see the drama of the surface, but move beyond it into the container of the soul." Perhaps this is the first step in a path to action where to 'be the other' is not to compare pain, but instead to mutually recognize it in ourselves.

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