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Friday, 11 March 2011






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Love depicted sans brushstrokes

K alasuri Jayasiri Semage will hold an exhibition of his line drawings at the Semage Art Gallery, Mount Lavinia from March 14 to 31. The line drawings will depict love and different aspects of village life in Sri Lanka.

Jayasiri Semage

All artists express their feelings and ideas by using brushstrokes on a canvas or drawing something on an art paper. They do it the way they want without any restrictions and inhibitions. They usually do not worry about their styles because it evolves naturally during the process of creation.

For instance, world famous Michael Angelo completed his Monalisa painting using oil on canvas. Similarly, Picasso vividly depicted love, lust, and similar feelings on a large canvas giving free reign to his expressions. The unknown painters who created immorttal pieces of art in Ajantha and Sigiriya used various colours and lines to give life to their paintings. As a result, we still enjoy viewing these creations.

Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage wonders why those artists did not want to use lines to express their feelings. He himself created his paintings using brushstrokes on canvases. His creations ranged from village scenes, historical Buddhist paintings, love, compassion, loving kindness and lust. All these creations appeared on canvases. He used oil painting, acrylic and water colours to please his spectators. Like all world famous artists, Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage also experiments with his paintings from time to time. His latest craze is to depict love, lust, and other human feelings using only lines.

The line drawings are bound to create a sensation among art lovers because he has used his inherent talents following the accepted norms of traditional art. For instance, his line drawings will be augmented with Liyavel, Liyapota, Arimbu, ancient flowers, birds, rhythmic lines and ancient murals found in temples.

A keen observer of these line drawings will realise that his line creations embrace a host of other artistic traditions coming down to us from time immemorial. His lines invariably end up in the creation of beautiful flowers, leaves, or other designs. Such creations are very unlikely to come from any other artist because his line drawings are unique to himself.

Line drawings of this nature can only be created by somebody who meditates on his art. Semage has spent a long time meditating on what he was going to create without using paint and brush. Like a hermit he has allowed his thought processes to continue creating more and more designs.

This kind of dedication and concentration can come only from an artist who has spent many decades using his talents to create something new.

An artistís mind is a mine of creations. If properly used, an artist can create something new from time to time. However, what happens most of the time is that artists confine themselves to a particular art genre without trying to evolve something new. In this respect, Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage is always in the forefront.

Semage does not see anything wrong in depicting seminude women amply described in Sandesha Kavyas. If a poet can create the beauty of a woman using only words, why cannot an artist depict the same beauty on the canvas?

The current exhibition will be an eye-opener to those who cling on to Victorian morals in the 21st century.


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