Paradise Road Galleries recently opened an exhibition of paintings featuring leading contemporary artist Jagath Ravindra. The exhibition will be open until February 10 at Paradise Road Galleries, 2 Alfred House Road Colombo 03, open daily 10 at am to midnight.
Having won many awards and gaining state recognition, Jagath Ravindra explains the influences that drive him as an artist as well as his inspiration behind ‘Blooming Beauty’.
When asked about the inspiration behind ‘Blooming Beauty’, Jagath Ravindra said that Blooming Beauty is an aesthetic journey for him, based on the visual beauty of the lotus. He explained that the lotus has an authentic cultural characteristic. “Particularly in Asia, it is a religious symbol. In this series of paintings I was not concerned about its religious or cultural aspects; I was simply inspired by its beauty and purity that bloomed within my own happiness, exceeding all boundaries. I was also inspired by the series of paintings ‘Water Lilies’ by the French impressionism master Claude Monet. Influenced by him, I brought out my own abstract version.”
He was in the field of advertising before joining the academic staff of the Faculty of Visual Arts and had to fight with time to balance his career with his painting process. “It is the main reason behind choosing acrylic as my primary medium. I started using acrylic at a period when it was not popular amongst Sri Lankan artists. But now I think most of our artists are using acrylics often. But Ravindra opines that the important thing is not the medium. “Artists can use any medium such as oil, acrylic, watercolour or charcoal, but if they cannot handle the medium to create a narrative and expression, the medium has no value,” said Ravindra.
Plagiarism has become an intense issue in the local art scene, opines Ravindra, and adds that it should be confronted and dealt with. It affects both sides, especially the artist that has been stolen from, says Ravindra. “The reason I’m saying it should be given proper attention with a practical solution is because it kills the reputation and the existence of the entire field.”
He also noted the need for a contemporary art museum. “Our art industry is crying out for one.” He pointed out that although Sri Lanka is not concerned about the requirement, countries of the East and the West such as Singapore, France, India, China, Japan, and Bangladesh have such museums and galleries. “They indirectly inspire the minds of art lovers as well as ordinary people.”
For Ravindra his elder brother has been his greatest influence. “In my childhood I often saw him drawing and I wanted to do what he was doing. It was my beginning and following this I fell in love with drawing and colours.” He describes it as a ‘thirst for art’. “The influence of my elder brother merged with my thirst and was followed by a lot of hard work and commitment.” The output finally became his identity as the artist and the brand ‘JagathRavindra’.