Artisan, Artist We Love, Collaboration

Pioneering Malaysian artist Sivam Selvaratnam, Nelissa Hilman collaborate on shoes

“The power of color stimulates aesthetic responses by establishing spaces and tension, gives rise to illusion of movement and evokes moods and emotions.”

We had the opportunity to attend the opening of ‘Rapt in Maya’ art exhibition by Malaysian veteran artist Sivam Selvaratnam on August 24th 2012 which was launched by the former University Malaya vice-chancellor Royal Professor Ungku Aziz Ungku Abdul Hamid. The one-month art exhibition showcased an eclectic breadth of artworks by Sivam Selvaratnam since 1960 to mark her 50th wedding anniversary as well as to reflect her remarkable achievements as an artist spanning half a decade.

I was very fortunate to collaborate closely with such amazing artist like Mrs Selvaratnam on creating wearable piece inspired by her drawings.

In Mrs. Selvaratnam home studio, filled with hundreds of vivid abstracts both large and small, depict immense and impersonal forms in a riot of colors.

Chromatic Abstraction, Acrylic on Canvas, 2010

Sivam Selvaratnam peep toe wedge inspired by her canvas painting

Through innovative use of color, the numerous studies and drawings which Sivam sketched between 1965–1969 contributed significantly to her chromatic paintings in later years. Her vibrant use of colors, form and lines were in part influenced by Kandinsky, Matisse and Pollock.

Textile, 1969

Heels inspired by her textile design

Sivam is a very loving person and has inspired me to pick up my paint brush again and start creating.

About Sivam Selvaratnam

Sivam is a pioneer of the Wednesday Art Group founded in 1952. She studied textile design with fine art based at the Manchester College of Art and Design and obtained her Masters in Art and Design Education at the University of London. Throughout her career, Sivam has been associated with art education. In 1979, she was appointed the Head of the Art Elective Programme at the National Junior College, Singapore. Her early works were based on nature studies – sources of inspiration for her initial textile designs. Sivam’s later body of artworks was inspired by raga and centered around sound and movement in color and composition. She has continued to paint abstract forms in mixed media and energized yantra – divine geometric elements juxtaposed with music.

For more information, follow Sivam Selvaratnam on her website.


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