Srimati Lal grew up in a literary atmosphere, filled with the aesthetic and socio-cultural influences. Surrounded by creative people, it was natural she developed her own visual language through her art. Her recent exhibition, Benedictions, at the Galaxy Hotel, is dedicated to her father, who was the first to recognize her creative talents. Srimati Lal is the daughter of the legendary poet and publisher
P. Lal, the founder of the renowned Writers Workshop in Kolkata.
Lal claims that her training in art began when she met her mentor Francis Newton Souza in 1993. Traces of his influence are evident in her portraits of innocent and haunted women, as well as her still life paintings. Spring Banquet is her response to nature, expressed in bold, undisguised brushstrokes, and high-keyed, vibrant colours. The depth and beauty that exudes from her work reveals her perception and extraordinary sensibility.
Lal’s exaggerated colours in Spring Banquet, Holi Bouquets and Red Hibiscus resonate the age of Fauvism. It is her bold and liberal attitude to colour that reflects her joyous spirit. The artist takes us through a trajectory that holds promises of spring, summer’s ecstasy and the Holi festival. Her passion for flowers appears in the back ground of Goddess, allowing her protagonist to dream on…
In Goddess with parrot and dove, Lal portrays a woman surrounded by items that bring joy to her everyday life. While her parrot entices the viewer to join the fun, the dove plays nonchalantly with the woman’s tresses. There is humour, charm and intrigue in her work. Here red, maroon and green blend together with an aesthetic appeal. She has the ability to draw the viewer into her work so that he/she becomes part of it.
Through her individual artistic exploration, she has articulated her inner thoughts and visions. In memory of her mentor Souza, she has made an interesting painting tiled Souza painting his muse. It portrays her guru at work. Her paintings show an extraordinary sensibility, as she captures the passion and energy of the artist.
Lal says that she gets her inspiration from Buddhist Thangkas as well as Patachitra paintings. Steeped in tradition, her visual narratives are a fusion of the modern and a historical narrative.Some display their heightened sense of beauty, like the wonderful painting Indian Eden. Here she entices the viewer to her intimate spaces, unfolding her secret garden – filled with detailed images, reflecting her peaceful state. The man, woman with the cat under a tree, and a church in the horizon make a harmonious picture. There is an intensity of colour, emotion and line, that strike the eye and imagination. Her penchant for colour and fantasy are irresistible.
The sensuous works draw upon the rich resources of myth, memory and tradition to make statements that express her vision of the world. They reveal her compelling energy and uninhibited zest for life, which is now in search of a spiritual journey.