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Mihintalava - The Birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhist Civilization

New art by Jayasiri Semage

Beyond the horizon

Semage's latest exhibition "Beyond the Horizon" will be held at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery, Colombo 7 from March 11 to 13. The exhibition will be opened at 6 p.m. on March 10.


Semage with one of his creations.

In a vision that reaches far beyond the limiting horizons of work-a-day creativity artist Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage has discovered a whole new world to conquer with brush and palette. Evolving away from the familiar lines and curves, he unveils a fresh landscape where startling shapes and colours, perform an enticing visual dance.

The linear images of yesteryear have begun to give way to voluptuous curvatures indicating a developed creative soul discarding ornate arabesques, in a marked preference for mature simplicity.

The new shapes are erotically evocative as they seem to have emerged from a sensuous experience of the world. For an artist, the curvatures are a far more formidable challenge than the linear portrayals. Lines modulating into curvatures imply a very close affinity with the manifestations of life.

Unlike the stark statements made with lines, the fascinating curvatures seem to capture breathing spasms of living entities. With this evolved approach, artist Jayasiri Semage seems to have affected a startling trek down the years of his life, into his childhood days.

At reflective moments artist Jayasiri Semage recalls how, as a child, of about five he portrayed the first letter of the Sinhala alphabet - drawing the curved shape of an elephant. The village teacher marvelled at the effort of the child prodigy and prophesied that little Jayasiri would one day achieve high renown as an artist.



Startling shapes and colours.

Artist Jayasiri Semage has not only made that prophesy come true, but has also brought back the curvatures, that astonished his teacher at the village school.

He has arrived at the present rung of his achievement passing through a whole series of phases. The temple murals of his childhood village enabled him to stock his subconscious with the motifs and patterns of traditional art.

As his creative soul matured through education, experience and high inspiration, he escaped the cocoon of the initial experimental stage and discovered his own personality, along with his individualistic style of expression.

In those remote regions and far distant lands, where he exhibited his works, art-lovers were able to discern his individuality that made him a unique creative person. Among the many accolades he won for his artistic creations, the most outstanding, to my mind is the selection of one of his paintings to be placed on permanent exhibition at the U.N. Headquarters in Geneva.

Pursuit of excellence

His unceasing pursuit of excellence is punctuated by a whole series of landmarks. The current exhibition is unerringly one of those brand new chapters in his creative works.

For those to whom artist Jayasiri semage is very much a "known factor", the present exhibition will come as a delightful surprise. His palette has undergone a perceptible change, with a marked prominence accorded to purple.

This particular colour usually associated with tradition, dignity and prestige imparts a fetching allure to his latest works. The artist has evolved to such heights that it is very seldom that his present works yield even a distant and faint echo of the stylistic levels of the temple murals which inescapably inspired him during his formative years in the village.

His creative urge propels him perpetually forward enabling him to delve deeper and deeper into his own soul, to discover layers of inspiration which are still untouched.

The secret of his unending creative discovery is his astonishing capacity to look inwards and to replenish his creative and spiritual resources. artists, who have been able to scale heights that daunt ordinary spirits, have always been blessed with the capacity to discard the non-essentials and to lighten their souls into a simplicity of vision.

Artist Jayasiri Semage has reached that profound simplicity enabling him to settle for what is central and essential in any creative experience.


TENDER - Sri Lanka Cement Corporation

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