|IROMIE'S FIGURES IN VIBRANT COLOURS
elongated figures of Iromie Wijewardena convey deep-seated ideas on women at work. Their
facial expressions sketched in fine4ly executed lines remind us of the classical figures
on a subdued note. The colours she had chosen in painting the female from are bright so as
to draw one's attention to her paintings. These are sings of maturity that she has
achieved during the past, when she opted to become a full time artist.
It is apparent that she is on the way to becoming a major artist in our region. This is
seen in most of her recent paintings. There is a serenity and harmonious blending of
colours on the figures of women. The selection of her themes shows the portrayal of women
in different poses, bringing out the beauty of the female figure. Some are standing while
other are seated with outstretched hands which the artist has done with some purpose. The
present series shows imaginative figures taken from rural life.
They are not exaggerated. In her own words, "they move rhythmically intervening
quietly and tenderly". It is clear that colour and line are foremost characteristics
of her work. A wide range of vibrant colours dominate in her paintings. In the painting
"Harvest of Lillies", a woman is shown in detail using a range of colour from
shades of yellow, red, green, pink and brown, carrying lilies in her hand and head. The
figure shows a young women in a pose that gives the idea of movement.
In another paintings, "The Vendor" she employees a mixed media showing a
woman seated dressed in printed cloth holding on to a round basket. The colours of the
background where the woman is seated have been daubed to focus our attention on the figure
while the background remains bright, thereby giving a contrast.
The image of pristine womanhood can be seen in her "Riverside Beauties" using
oil on canvas with three seated figures of women, one holding a pot, the other suggesting
the washing of clothes while the middle figure is with her hand raised. Her use of red,
yellow, blue and white gives a touch or romanticism and charm to the figures of women,
with their long drawn eyes, seated by the riverside.
Iromie, in painting "Rhythm in Pink" has portrayed a dancer in a pose
suggesting the idea of her "rhythmic movement" which apparently is her forte.
Her idea of raised hands gives the tempo of the movements of the dancer. The figure is
draped in a thin blue veil while her costume is painted in shades of red. Speaking on her
paintings, Iromie says, "the images convey memories of the past and present, painted
from imagination, based on human values and conflict".
The world of happiness and charm forms the theme in her present works on view. With her
wide experience as a painter, Iromie has won international recognition. Her portrayal of
women in different poses captures the imagination of the viewers to appreciate the beauty
of the female figure.
D B Kappagoda