Portraying the Divine in Nature

The works of Singapore-based artist Jaleela Niyaz on display at Suryakanthi Art Gallery, Sasthamangalam, are notable for a refreshing blend of calligraphy, abstract art and traditional forms

Published: 01st December 2015 03:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st December 2015 03:49 AM   |  A+A-

Nature and divinity are synonymous for Jaleela Niyaz. The synergy of the two forces mark the Singapore based artist’s mixed media works. Motifs of trees, leaves, and intertwined vines are set off against deep colours that emanate a sense of vastness. The 40 works on display at Suryakanthi art gallery, Sasthamangalam are notable for a refreshing blend of calligraphy, abstract art and traditional forms.

Her third solo exhibition, Jaleela has previously conducted solo and group exhibitions in Singapore too. Her works are part of quite a few private collections. “Tree is a recurring image in my works,” says Jaleela. “To me it symbolises hope. I try to create trees in my paintings with a variety of media, and with each one it brings in a new effect,” she says.

The self-taught artist has relied largely on her instincts since taking up art seriously during college days. Her penchant for abstract art gradually gave way to a serious engagement with art work using mixed media. Her signature style, which has caught on among art connoisseurs, now combines calligraphy with a variety of media.

The richly coloured acrylic backdrops are done up with glass paint, modelling clay which adds a 3D effect to the paintings and silver, golden and copper shades of metallic paint to give a surrealistic touch. Into this intricate detailing is added the aesthetic flourishes of Arabic calligraphy.

“It was the noted Srilankan artist Raja Segar who suggested that I try calligraphy as my style would blend well with it. At the same time, I wanted to bring my own signature to calligraphy painting. I have attempted to make it distinct from existing styles,” says Jaleela.

Jaleela, a mother of two, says she works at night after putting her children to bed. “I need a quiet time to paint. But my children are very careful when it comes to handling my paintings. They are both budding artists and appreciate what they see on my canvases,” says the proud mother.

The exhibition will close on December 2.


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