KOTA KINABALU: The late Tina Rimmer has been given the ‘Sabah Cultural Icon’ award by the Sabah Cultural Heritage Council, posthumously.
She is the first person to receive the award, said Sabah Art Gallery (SAG) curator Jennifer Linggi, adding that the award was to acknowledge the late Rimmer’s contribution to the state’s arts and culture scene.
Chairman of the council Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun presented the certificate to Rimmer’s grand niece Shona Lewin, who flew in from Brisbane (Australia), at the funeral service yesterday afternoon.
“The award was also a recognition for Rimmer’s life long contribution to the people of Sabah and her biggest role being that of an educationist first before an artist,” Linggi said.
She added that to commemorate Rimmer, who would have been 100 years old on August 1, the Gallery would hold a special exhibition of her works starting from her birthday (August 1) until the end of the year.
Linggi added that they were expected to showcase over 100 pieces of Rimmer’s artwork.
Born Mary Christina Lewin and originally from Devon, England, Rimmer moved to Sabah in 1949 to become an education officer and started her shot to prominence in the local arts scene.
Her husband Bert Rimmer, who she wed in this state, passed away in 1984.
Known for her tamu scenes of Tamparuli and her portraits, Rimmer’s most prolific years as an artist were in the 80s after she retired from teaching.
Her work ranged from oil painting, Chinese ink and pencil drawing, she said when met at the funeral which was followed by cremation.
Linggi said while Rimmer never wanted to price her artworks too high, one piece would probably fetch RM20,000 nowadays due to her well-known reputation.
On her remains, Jennifer revealed that Rimmer’s last request was that her ashes be scattered at sea which her grand niece is expected to carry out on Sunday.