Jagath’s paintings, a lavish display of colours
Jagath Kosmodera hails from the busy environment of a town that
offered him a variety of subjects whose art impressed him from his early
childhood. He was born in Colombo on April 21, 1963. He showed artistic
inclination as a schoolboy and did sketches of birds, animals and human
figures on paper, the blackboard, and the walls of his house.Jagath
completed his school career at Mahanama Vidyalaya, Kollupitiya. His
schoolmates did not assess his talents, but believed he was intended to
be an artist. After leaving school he applied to many leading companies
to start life as an artist. To give him a chance, the editor of a
leading newspaper offered him a series of picture stories in the monthly
magazine titled Sree, With the opening Jagath realised that drawing was
indeed his vocation and in 1980 became a full-time artist. Then onwards
he did not look back. His reputation as a popular picture story
illustrator grew into great heights. In 1997 Jagath did story
illustrations known as Captain Vonrayan, Sakvithi Real Police which
became very popular among readers. He also worked in reputed advertising
agencies in Colombo and in Dubai in various capacities as a visualiser,
senior art director and creative director. Apart from doing commercial
art, he painted life-like scenes in oil, acrylic and water-colours.
One of his paintings
Like many artists Jagath is a lover of nature and his canvases depict
wildlife, birds, village beauties and beautiful landscapes. He was
fascinated by the human body on canvas, and depicted a meticulous
technique in a lavish display of colour that pleased the eye. Jagath
painted homely scenes of life in the town and the country.
The texture of a brick in a wall, the minutest description of a
cobblestone in a street, he painted in amazing craftsmanship. They were
the masters of the medium of light and shadow. He cared little about
decorative effects, but dealt in low tones. The wide range of subjects
such as ‘Elephant Transporting Timber’ ‘Herds of Cattle’, ‘Bhikkhus back
to Temple’ and ‘Women after the Harvest’ are a blaze of colour
transmitted into living art.
Jagath saw beauty in ugliness and divinity in things humble and
small. He retained his natural simplicity. His paintings, a criss-cross
of tangled trees, and streams lead the eye to the sky where the hot sun
hangs low on the horizon, shooting rays through flecked clouds. It it
surprising to note that not many in our part of Asia today, have made it
the principal medium of expression, despite its close affinity with
Oriental art. In Sri Lanka it was Gate-Mudliyar A.C.G.S. Amarasekera,
the doyen of painters, G.S. Fernando (who excels in the medium) Bertha
Jansz, David Paynter, Manjusri and George Keyt are the outstanding
painters who have contributed most to its survival and raised it to the
artistic level of oil painting.
At present Jagath is engaged in working for an exhibition depicting
the Sri Lanka Panorama which includes religious festivals, ancient
temples, waterfalls, busy streets of Colombo, Adam’s Peak, rivers, sandy
beaches, and black and white sketches in water-colour and acrylic paint.
The exhibition titled ‘Thambapanni Sancharaya’ will be an attraction for
art lovers and tourists. It will be held on April 5 at the Lionel Wendt.
Jagath’s paintings are mostly bought by tourists for their private
collection. He runs his own advertising agency in Dalugama, Kelaniya.