Saw recently at the 9th Johor Bahru Arts Fesvial 2012 is an art exhibition entitled ‘My Passion For Portraits’ by English painter Sofia Cole. The 51 year old artist who is now based in Johor Bahru is a remarkable figure who 15 years ago was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and was told that she had only 3 days left to live. She was told to bid her family farewell but instead she was determined to live on for the sake of her 3 children, who were all below 6 years old then.
Defying the odds stacked against her, Sofia underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and instead of living for only 3 more days, she went on and continue leading a normal life for the next 15 years and today, she produced one of the most remarkable artworks of portraits where she paints them along the themes of Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Pride and Prejudice as well as many others along these genres.
Today, she no longer drive for her own safety and while recovering from her sickness, she could not use her fingers very well but today, her paintings bear testimony that determination and hardwork surely pays off. To her, each completed painting is a form of achievement. The family then travelled to various parts of the world starting from Pattaya in Thailand and then on to Malaysia, Australia as well as to New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii and the United States before deciding to settle down in Johor Bahru in Malaysia.