“Paradise was never lost. It’s waiting for you to open your eyes, and see.”
The photography of Lionel Wendt is heavy with moods and tends to induce visual poetry or music in viewers. Looking into Lionel’s history, this is not surprising. Being a brilliant pianist trained at the Royal Academy of Music, Wendt’s musicality undoubtedly penetrated his photographic works. With his mastery in light and shade and against the backdrop of the 43 Group that led the modernist movement in Sri Lankan arts, Lionel always seemed to capture the serene opulence of this island in a spectacular fashion. We see it in many of Lionel’s works with perfect metrics of shimmering waters or glistening skins, elegant distributions of black and white or halftone gold that he masterfully captured.
This beautiful photograph by Lionel Wendt depicts the South Coast of Sri Lanka. It elevates the everyday sight of a palm-fringed beach into a composition with a distinct lyricism. It makes us think that Lionel was that rare type of person who spotted paradise in the undercurrent of the everyday, where most of us would miss it. Originally created as a gelatin print, it has now been recreated by us in screen-print.
Southern dream: two-coloured screen-print