Brightening up his canvas with a smile

Jayantha Silva holds 7th solo exhibition on June 11 and 12
By Vimukthinie Nonis

Jayantha Silva, one of the major players in the local art scene holds his seventh solo art exhibition ‘Expression 7’on June 11 and 12 at the Lionel Wendt. ‘Expression 7’ is a stunning compilation of “Sri Lankan Smiles”.

Sri Lankan smiles is his theme as he believes it to be something unique to our island nation, an expression of warmth and hospitality. “It’s the children’s smile that is true and innocent,” said Jayantha who has depicted these in pastel shades. Nearly 45 to 50 pictures are on display and of them some 25 are based on Sri Lankan smiles along with a few charcoal paintings of Colombo city ( how it looked 100 years ago).

“When I was at school I felt that there was not much scope for artists,” said Jayantha. However 20 years later, he tried his hand at art as he felt it brought solace and inner satisfaction. “I felt that there is an artist in me that I could bring out,” said Jayantha.

Then he painted his first picture- a mother and child, and when the collection grew it was one of his friend’s idea that he hold an exhibition. So it was that in 2003 at the Lionel Wendt, he held ‘Expression 1’. It was his wife who named it so as all his paintings were based on expressions as he was a self-taught artist.

Expression 1 was a success as many of the paintings were sold and from there on he has devoted all his time to art. Jayantha has had recognition internationally as well, having exhibited in Australia, and at state fairs in India sponsored by the Sri Lanka Export Development Board.

“Unlike in other countries the artists are not encouraged therefore if we are to survive we have to get into the international circuit,” he says. His exhibition is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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