From a review by Rita Sebastian in the Sri Lanka Sunday Times, 18 November
Rabindranath Tagore who said 'Art belongs to the region of
intuition, the unconscious, the superfluous' when at the age of 67, this great figure of
Indian literature turned painter. Jayalakshmi Satyendra was echoing that same thought the
other morning when talking of her eight months in Cambridge where she studied psychology
in art. 'It is the sub conscious that we bring out on the canvas.'.
Eighty two of her canvases go on show at her second 'one man' exhibition
which opens at the Lionel Wendt Gallery on 28 November in collaboration with the German
Cultural Institute. Influenced by the 17th century impressionists, she doesn't credit
herself with any particular style. 'Each painting is like an experiment,' and into that
experiment in colour goes what she really feels and thinks.
The canvas hasn't limited her sub-conscious.'I
am only a tiny speck in the great universe' and yet all her inner emotions she has
translated into colour and line creating sensations and responses that are distinctly
Sometimes she paints three canvases at the same time. 'When I get tired
of one, I go to another, but there are times when I complete one in a single sitting.
That's when my best comes out. It is just a spontaneous outflow of my inner self.'
Her paintings usually depict the mood she is in, like the one titled 'Turbulence', a woman splashing away in the grey white fury of
the sea. 'A smile' face with an anatomy that is all coils, 'that's
all we are if we strip ourselves, just coil and air'. There is one semi-abstract titled 'Oneness', the love of a man and woman which is 'a complete fusion
of body and feeling which no space can contain. A love that is one, yet not a slave with
each person still retaining their individual identity'.
Religion has a strong hold on Jayalakshmi
Satyendra and has influenced her paintings. The
of meditation has been caught in a number of her canvases.
Her paintings she admits are an expression of her feelings and she identifies herself with
There are number of landscapes too. The
rich flamboyant, the seeming tranquility of Yala, the jungles
and the sea. 'I love the sea and I get carried away in the
clouds'. 'Three Nudes' are trees stripped bare. 'I have a
passion for dead trees. They have more life, more feeling. I see beauty in them'.
Quite aptly, her exhibition has been titled 'Moments of Awareness'.