I GOT on the plane at Larnaca which was full of tanned holidaymakers returning to Heathrow.
I got out - with 19 others all carrying their own bags _ at Brussels, Belgium.
Took a bus - no toilet - no water across that country.
Through Picardy and thought of the First World War. Flat landscapes, the sort Mondrian could have been inspired by, but the feeling was more of Magritte. Flanders came to mind, too.
A Turkish Cypriot lady gave us homemade grape/nut chewies. The bus went on. Mobile phones were on the go. Crossed a border. We are on the way, hope to make dinner tonight. A taxi picked some of us up at Charles de Gaulle airport after 9 hours from home.
Later, I looked out of my hotel window (it appeared I had stayed their when in the RAF in 1949) on Rue de Dunkerque and saw the Gare du Nord, where the trains now go to Ashford and Waterloo.
Paris is a lovely city. So far away - this time.
I had come to open V.P. Vasuhan's exhibition at Bayadere, 23 Rue Louis Blanc, whose director is Annick Garin.
Vasu used to paint in my studio in Nicosia, but is now in Paris and this was his third exhibition there.
With the deputy Mayor of Mairie de Saint Ouen, Valerie, and Aravinde Appathurai, a poet from Madras, I was to open the exhibition.
Valerie and myself found a new urgency in Vasu work, which appeared to relate to world stress. Aravinde observed how the artist had developed and found his way in Paris. Amongst the guests were a film director, Raj, who had directed "Beyond the Mirror", a chap from the Herald Tribune, a lady who sounded like Audrey Hepburn whose father had a Welsh landscape by Cyffyn Williams, whom I had met in London more than half a century ago, TV producers and an Irish woman called Patricia who still has a lovely lilt to her French; plus lots of Sri Lankan friends of Vas's, including Yapa Senarath who was here in Cyprus.
Vas's father, Vellupillai Poobalasingham, had managed to make the exhibition, too.
He had turned up from Canada, where his daughter was married and was now on his way home to Sri Lanka
The new urgency in Vasu's paintings.
The title Kamathenu-Ox, a mythical/bullish animal with the top part of the body female more than hinted at our current complexities.
A major work,'Diary' (10), for example, had the strength of an Easter Island head but was far from resting.
In fact it had a considerable growl, a compulsive bite.
Even 'Kamathenu'(13), with its feminine silk adornments had fierce horns. 'Live Wire'(6) had considerable spring to its sharp barbed bite. 'Papillon' (7) was erotically charged, while 'Petale' (8), was as ambiguous as can be, and 'Mischief' (15) quite delightfully obvious.
'Une Langue' (20) a reminder of our Babel of confusions spelt clear. 'Dances with Rat'(19), twists and turns with speed.
The artist's love of nature was predominant in 'Lavende de Giorde' (32), 'Van Gogh' (33), a memory of a garden in Kaimakli, 'Tulip de Mon Jardin" (34 ) and 'Hibiscus, from Jafna'(35). Memories not at rest. A deep and moving exhibition .
article by Glyn HUGHES
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