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