Utopianism forged in the canvas | Daily News

Utopianism forged in the canvas

SH Sarath’s latest art exhibition will be held at the Art Gallery (18A, Sarasavi Gardens, Nawala Road, Nugegoda) from January 13 to 31 from 10 am to 5 pm. The appointments are the preferred option given the prevailing situation in the country. Appointments could be made via 0112854737, 0112769433 and 0711235597. His paintings can also be viewed on www.shsarath.com.

What an exhibition! Down the years, I find that I’ve grown pretty weary of a certain kind of abstraction; whatever it might have meant at first, it seems ever more etiolated to me. Yet here is S H Sarath, making the case for it all over again.

His art, which is undoubtedly impressive, is a mirror painting of thousand thoughts. S H Sarath hardly needs any introduction in the Lankan cultural scene. He is widely known for his inborn flair for producing meaningful as well as entertaining works of art. Richness is what surrounds his paintings. Plus, they brim with colours that speak. His strokes illume. His curves stand out. This is precisely why SH Sarath stands alone.

SH Sarath’s latest art exhibition will be held at the Art Gallery (18A, Sarasavi Gardens, Nawala Road, Nugegoda) from January 13 to 31 from 10 am to 5 pm. The appointments are the preferred option given the prevailing situation in the country. Appointments could be made via 0112854737, 0112769433 and 0711235597. His paintings can also be viewed on www.shsarath.com.

Sarath's drawings are full of social consciousness, satire, sarcasm, irony and multi-religious philosophy. Each and every drawing portrays a thematic content that is very topical. He tries to highlight aspects of the prevailing society through his paintings. He has held a large number of both international and local painting exhibitions.

Born in 1947 at Weligama, Matara, One of the rarest and remarkable painters in Sri Lanka, Sarath belongs to the post-independent generation. Following a five-year course in painting at the Government School of Fine Arts (1968-1973), he followed postgraduate studies in art at the Silpakon University in Thailand under a UNESCO fellowship. Thereafter he completed a course in printmaking at the University of South Australia, Adelaide, in 1995.

Sarath's work too is part of several collections. Some of his paintings have been included in the collections of the President of Sri Lanka, National Development Bank, Colombo, Commercial Bank, Colombo, ANZ Bank Norwood, Australia, Westpack Bank, Adelaide, Australia, National Art Gallery, Colombo, and Ecka Art Gallery, Yugoslavia. One of his paintings depicting a drawing of a tree had been included in the collection at the United Nations premises after the exhibition.

Out of discord, whether internal or external, Sarath creates a harmony so exquisite, his work seems at moments almost to vibrate. However fiercely suggestive it is of the hardest forces that drove him to become an artist.

Some paintings are for the mind. But Sarath’s are for our social consciousness. We need to absorb his mood as we would that of a person to whom we are attracted, excitement gradually shading into a feeling of absolute rightness.

Pictures by Sudath Malaweera

 


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