Jagath’s fourth phase of hope

By Adilah Ismail

His canvases have the enviable art of telling stories – from stories of pain, isolation and alienation to those of escape and hope. Jagath Ravindra’s evolution as an artist is a fascinating journey to any art lover.

The transition which can be traced to four main stages, tells of the aftermath of tragedies, the quest for beauty in a world of pain, broken relationships and finally the emergence of hope and change.

His current exhibition depicts the fourth phase, he says and is centred on man’s search for new birth and the need for change. Explaining that change is essential to obtain a new lease of life, his canvases capture the hope within a fire and the restoration from burning ashes.

Despite his success as an artist and recognition gained abroad, he remains essentially humble. “We may be doctors, engineers or artists; but above all we should be human beings,” says Jagath. To use one’s skill to mould a better society is the ultimate legacy an artist can leave behind, he says.

“I have enormous respect for the sacrifices made by artists,” he says. “A person finally becomes an artist when he obtains the freedom of thought. My principle is that everyone is entitled to their way of thinking and has the right to express themselves.”

Grateful for all the assistance he has received, he explains that to achieve professional status in a country such as ours is not easy. “More resources mean more art patrons, collectors and galleries. Particularly since art does not have as much mass appeal as film and music, our audience is sadly limited. Therefore the economic situation of a country is fundamental for any artist to thrive.”

Laughing, he relates that the time spent at the canvas is little in comparison to the preparation he does before each painting. As he formulates his thoughts and then visualizes his work before he begins, he explains that the progression of ideas which lead to each painting is extremely important.

Preferring to paint with a fast drying medium such as acrylic, blank spaces appeal to him. His paintings have a distinctly figurative abstract edge and have the unique ability of revealing ‘a hidden truth within a truth’.

The Jagath Ravindra exhibition will be on at the Paradise Road Galleries from September 11 to October 2 from 10 a.m. to midnight.

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