“Darkness into Light” – An Exhibition of Paintings by Yasmin Buckman

The artist’s  cousin Jomo Uduman shares his thoughts aboutYasmin Buckman’s 3rd solo exhibition that would be held at the Sapumal Foundation, Barnes Place, Colombo 07 on  the 7th and 8th of July.

I was so happy to hear that Yasmin has finally decided to surface again, exhale and blow bubbles our way, with another Exhibition of her wonderful paintings.

Although born into a conservative Muslim family, Yasmin has managed to creatively balance her urge to paint and live the life of a true artist, without disturbing too much the sensitive fabric of her social and religious obligations.  Apart from all this, she lost Zaman, the love of her life 3 years into her marriage, and then nurtured and brought up her only son Mirshad without mishap and rolled him into an outstanding rock musician.

She attributes the discovery of her creativity with paint to Vinitha Fernando, her art teacher at Methodist College.  She has only exhibited twice so far, and that too after a few fire crackers were lit under her.  She lives in Kandy with all her paintings, dreams, schemes and bucket list.

I have not had the opportunity to see her newer or not so new paintings as she skillfully conceals them while drumming up various excuses about them being unfinished and may  perhaps need a dash of flaming red  or violet to hide the turquoise peeping out from the foliage or the clouds. But I have seen her older paintings – some of which are truly outstanding and deserve to stand amongst Sri Lanka’s best.

In these paintings, Yasmin without doubt captures the true emotions, empowerment and hopelessness of the people in them. She has surely seen their pain, their will to survive and forbearance in spite of their obvious poverty.

“Boy with Bull” is a young shepherd, stout stick in hand, herding cattle through a quagmire of surreal trees and undergrowth; intent, anxious and committed. It’ s the texture of  her brush strokes that makes you look again and again – set against thorns, horns and arms, and perhaps a tinge of sensuality  that comes at you from the trees and undergrowth.  Yes, I must ask her more about this! 

“Man with Buffaloes” is a stunning painting of man amidst beast with rope draped  and dangling around him, holding them back or setting them free.

“Displaced” can be either a post tsunami or a war zone moment. Children in the midst of two determined mothers with ghostly shadows of human anguish and destruction hovering around them: easily one of her best.  “Fisher Boy” is a wonderful profile of a boy with his catch and tattered hat.  So truly Sri Lankan.

“Mother and Child” was gifted to me, and often makes me wonder if this was a moment of the artist and her son. There is no resemblance to them but, the sadness, the bonding, the grief and the little boy’s head perched against her neck (while the unmistakable Buckman texture is baked and inter woven with the background), may provide a clue if you really want to look for one.
Together with her new paintings, which none of us have seen,   her other paintings which will impress any genuine art lover  are: “Woman carrying pot”, “Boy playing flute”, “Dove”, “Woman carrying firewood”, “Butterfly”.

Yasmin is a courageous and true Sri Lankan artist who has been consistently painting beautiful pictures from the depths of her simple heart and soul.  What’s interesting (and intriguing) is her sometimes spontaneous forays into the surreal world which may give us a glimpse of her other Buckman side.   Art Lovers! honour her simplicity and originality with your presence at her exhibition – you will not regret it.