Pulse: Expression of existence


“All you need to paint is a few tools, a little instruction, and a vision in your mind.”

– Bob Ross

Facilitating oneself with a few tools and a little instruction is no big deal, but the real secret of being a true artist lies in having a vision in the mind. Artist Prasadani Kumari, in that aspect, is truly blessed. You can see a deep, original vision that penetrates the veneer of life and touches the subtle realities of everyone’s life and soul, in her paintings.  Spandana (Pulse), the solo art exhibition by Prasadani was held at Lionel Wendt Art Centre, Colombo 7, from 3-5 June. The exhibition featured 30 canvas paintings done over two and half years, using acrylic, oil paints and pastels. Having immensely enjoyed the exhibition by myself, I couldn’t resist sharing my thoughts about Prasadani’s works of art.

Prasadani’s paintings were so powerfully packed with emotions. The very moment I stepped into the Lionel Wendt Art Centre, I could sense those radiating strong currents of emotions. The paintings were dark, gloomy and bleak yet irresistibly appealing. One might perceive the works of the exhibition as ‘depressing’, yes true, but the significance is that they do not necessarily depress the audience. Instead, the audience is left with a weight in their hearts; much feelings to ponder over. Dr. Sunil Wijesiriwardena also, addressing the gathering at the opening of the event, highlighted how art triggers up emotions and then leads to feeling and thought, providing a peephole into masked realities of life and universe.

Almost all her paintings were women, expressing different moods. The dripping nature of the paint was very symbolic of the femininity that Prasadani depicts in her works. There was a paint that I loved in particular, in which a female figure holds a fiercely glowing globe (presumably the sun) in a darker background; the significance was with the woman’s face; it was full of pain, sorrow and despair while the bright and cheerful yellowish glow of the globe that she is holding falls on her face, hinting on the irony of life. Also, I noticed that Prasadani’s paintings were not total abstracts, but they fall in between the realms of figuration and abstraction and allows anyone-even without much prior knowledge- understand and enjoy them.

However, Prasadani recognises her paintings as self portrayals, being very authentic in her expression of self. “All these canvases bear witness to the way I felt the meaning of this existence, the way I endured the infinite joy and the infinite suffering of this existence. This is why, without, perhaps, a complete consciousness, I ended up capturing my own figure and my own portrait. But still I want to present this moment – that I called ‘Pulse’– not so much as an expression of my personal life but as an expression of existence in general”, Prasadani shared. 

(Pix by Laksiri Rukman)

By Induwara Athapattu