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SEPTEMBER 2001 Contents
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The First Ladies in Delhi
- 'Pursuing their Calling'
Isidore Domnick Mendis
Wives of many ambassadors and high commissioners to India are emerging from the shadows of their husbands and establishing an identity of their own. Women like Nathalie Trouveroy, Feeroozeh Golmohammadi, Lady Catherine Young, Moina Simcock and Cristina De Buccourt De Anchordoqui have followed their inner call and pursued what is close to their heart. All are deeply involved in their artistic pursuits - and some have published and exhibited their work in India and elsewhere.
Lady Catherine Young
Lady Catherine Young, wife of the
British High Commissioner to India, Sir Rob Young says, "Art provides a
distinct identity to a person. An artist knows no boundaries and is free to
explore unknown areas."
Lady Catherine who was born in Paris has had no formal art training. A lawyer by education, she opted to teach English. Painting was her hobby that she cultivated from the age of seven as sketching and colouring came naturally to her.
It was only in the mid 1990s that she formalized her hobby by enrolling for a course in the history of arts at the famous Ecole du Louvres in Paris. " For me the course opened up a new vista into the world of art. I realised that I had the makings of a good artist. Today art is no more a hobby for me but a very serious pursuit," says she.
" God has given woman the gift to create. And she must use this energy positively"
Feeroozeh Golmohammadi, wife of Iranian Ambassador to India, M. Moosavi, is one of the most accomplished artists of her country. She has been painting and illustrating children's books for nearly two and a half decades. She is among the first Iranian women to have won international acclaim in art and is credited with ushering in the renaissance of Persian miniature paintings.
In her recent exhibition of mystic paintings titled The Dialogue Among Civilizations, she talked about the innate energy in woman. " God has given woman the gift to create. And she must use this energy positively," says Feeroozeh somewhat overwhelmed by the response to her exhibition.
A degree holder in interior design from the Institute of Designing in Tehran, Feeroozeh says her real time is spent with " my family and my art. I prefer not to participate in diplomatic functions except on very important occasions."
Feeroozeh has illustrated a number of children’s books, conveying timeless truths to different age groups. Her other interests include photography of which she's held several exhibitions across the world including New York, London, Rome, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul and more. She has dabbled in journalism as chief editor of the popular Iranian magazine Zan-e-Rooz (Today's Woman) and has several prestigious international awards to her credit.
" I have never come across any woman artist facing impediments in Iran," she says and adds, "Our best film directors are women. We have a large number of female musicians who perform in big Iranian orchestras and there are many female artists and singers. In fact women are in the forefront in all fields of art in Iran. I am proud of being a woman artist."
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