Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Sathyam Art Gallery

Moments of Awareness - விழிப்புணர்வுகள்
- from an Exhibition of Paintings in Oils by Jayalakshmi Satyendra
sponsored in 1979 by the German Cultural Institute

From a review by Rita Sebastian in the Sri Lanka Sunday Times, 18 November 1979:

"It was 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 individual.

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 reflective mood 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 them.

There are number of landscapes too. The red 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'.



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