The Amazon, an anniversary celebrated
Guyana Chronicle
September 15, 2002

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'The Amazon - a link between Guyana and Brazil' was how Brazilian water colourist, Maria Ines Lukacs, chose to title a week-long exhibition ended last Friday of 28 pieces of her latest works mounted at Le Meridien Pegasus Hotel to coincide with the observance of Brazil's 180th Independence anniversary.

It was a concept that took some doing to explain, as Brazilian Ambassador Mr. Ney do Prado Dieguez found out during a civic reception at Le Meridien Pegasus to mark the occasion, when the exhibit was officially declared open.

Opting to quote her directly, he said: "More than a link, it is a feeling; a belonging; a connection between dawn and sunset; between nature and the artist; between two countries and their people."

It was the second consecutive year, he said, that he has had the occasion and pleasure of presenting "to the Guyanese public, in connection with Brazil's National Day, the work of an outstanding Brazilian artist."

The first was a year ago, to the day, when he introduced the works of Betty Bettiol, under the title 'Synergy', described as essentially "the fusion of traditional metal engraving techniques with modern printing resources."

A graduate of the St. Vincent de Paul School of Fine Arts, Lukacs, who celebrated her 55th birthday on the same day as Brazil celebrated her Independence, is said to find her inspiration in Brazilian nature.

But that is as far as it goes, she says. It is not her style to burden her viewers with the run-of-the-mill "stereotypes that seek to reproduce the tropical flora, such as clumps of exuberant vegetation, delineated in strong colours, balanced by exotic and colourful birds."

Rather, she prefers to give free reign to her imagination: "shades of green and bits of brown, gray and red covering the land, the trees and the bushes. Pink and yellow for the skies, and all shades for the waters. Sometimes muddy; otherwise crystal clear."

"Like a river that bathes the forest," she says, "the water colours magically imprint the paper, creating images; sensations; and memories."

In Ambassador Dieguez' opinion: "The landscapes of Maria Ines are devoid of aggressiveness, even when capturing a forest fire, which, by its very nature, becomes a natural phenomenon."

The firm but subtle colours, he said, remind one of the gardens of Giverny: Delicately spread, without rigid frontiers.

"The result is dreamy and inspires contemplation." (Linda Rutherford)