An artist of our time

S. H. Sarath is a restless seeker. He is impelled by a dynamism that makes him explore all avenues available for creative expression. He is forever on the run, creatively speaking, as if pursued.

His way of life is determined by his unceasing urgency to bring art into being. In his creative work, there is a visible flux. His perception is never static. He tends to move on, in terms of his ever renewing vision.

But, whatever the changes are, they all take place with a core personality as the backdrop. Through all the evolving phases, one could discern his central urge, enabling one to keep track of his progressive development as an artist.

His early works show influences both traditional and modern. Over the years he has progressed through different styles and techniques, concentrating more on lines and form. He is aware of the happenings of his time which he ably captures with his brush and paint.

Sarath's artistic interest mainly streams in two directions; on the one hand, he searches out the sources of his art and finds them in mythology, religion and ancient folklore. Here, the artistic expression is characterised by luscious hedonistic lines and by an outburst of fiery colours; on the other hand, his interest turns towards a contemporary form of expression - abstraction. However, one way or the other, in the form of satire, irony or allegory, his main concern is humanity and nature.

His choice of colours - vibrant, bold and compelling - is arresting. At times he allows one colour to predominate, brooding in blue or luxuriating in bright greens and reds. The line is strong and fluent. The impression of dripping paint and the serrated brush work are techniques interspersed among his canvases. For Sarath one technique or style is not enough, he is always engaged in a restless search for fresh idioms, new styles and original tones with which to express more beautifully the ideas and themes he has.

It is difficult to believe that these creations have originated from the brush - or pen - of just one man. At times they are an amalgam of circles and other curves filled in between with rich, expressive colours. At times they are a cluster of impressionist splashes or roughly parallel strokes which, from a distance reveal some familiar shape that he is subtle enough to conceal in their midst. At times they are a composition of nothing but delicately thin lines or etchings with ample space pervading in all directions. At times they depict a Picasoic juxtaposition of spirited human anatomic features. At times they are cartoons, plain and simple, more than works of serious art.

Sarath is from a small village in the deep south of Sri Lanka and formally studied art in Columbo, Sri Lanka, followed by further studies at the Silpa-Korn University in Bangkok, Thailand and The University of South Australia School of Art. He then travelled to Europe, which proved a voyage of discovery. The world renowned works of
     
     
 
 

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