Jelila is a playful yet sophisticated colourist painter who evokes peace and inspiration through her paintings, which use rainbow hues and harmonious images of family and relationship.
Jelila is an intuitive colourist painter, a contemporary woman artist from London, who now lives in Asia, Bali – and is influenced by the Fauves like Chagall, and Matisse, although she has a strong style of her own.
Jelila studied at Sir John Cass School of Art, London, and The Art Student’s League of New York in Manhattan. She has had more than 30 exhibitions in London, and also in New York, Budapest, and Bali.
She often paints her childlike inner world – her idealised wishes for ‘how things could be’ for her as a child in a very free and fresh way with ‘almost no thought process’ – as Picasso said ‘It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child’. Jelila learned techniques at art college but has been an artist since she was a child – and unlike most people – she never really stopped being a child.
When people visit Jelila’s very large, colorful and playful studio in Ubud, which currently includes a ‘fairy village and railway’ that she is building – they stop in their tracks at the door, and gasp out loud, hand over mouth. So unusual is it, to really be in the presence of the inner child – and so very playful, is Jelila’s space.
In this first video, Jelila gives you an ‘over the shoulder look’ at her creation ‘Welcome to the World’ for Zero2Expo – and shows you how she explores her inner world – by painting out a blurred figure that had appeared on the left of the painting. As the painting evolves, Jelila shares her method and her decision that the left side of the painting would symbolise ‘the garden of the past’ and the right side would represent ‘the garden of the future’.
In painting out and changing ‘the garden of the past’, Jelila transformed some negative belief patterns within herself – and also ‘for the world’ – for this painting was created specifically to express the positive intention on its Zero2expo banner – and then repainted that area with things more to her liking, showing you both her psychological process, how her transformation happens though art, and her own unique artistic method of painting.
Jelila’s art perhaps originally grew out of her need for escapism from her stressful family, and from the fact that ‘I could just draw’ – as a child, and she constantly made art from the age of 4 or 5 and then made art all through school and at art college – she attended Sir John Cass School of Art Foundation Course in London’s East end ‘it was the punk era – kind of fun!’ and won a place at Chelsea school of Art for Fine Art, but decided not to take this up, as her temporary job at Chase Manhattan Bank was suddenly blossoming, into a career in information technology and project management.
Jelila’s successful career in business then took her all over the world – designing and implementing email systems before the internet – and to America, and while living and working in New York she attended the ‘Art Student’s League’ for evening classes in life drawing. After some weeks practising that rather formal discipline of drawing the nude figure from life, she crept across the corridor to the ‘experimental painting class’ – where ‘people were basically flinging themselves onto the canvas and rolling in the paint’, and there she had a life-changing meeting with teacher and artist Frank O’Cain, who first challenged the art that she had brought to show him, and then, when she fought back, apparently decided that she was committed to art, would be around a while and was worth putting some effort into teaching.
O’Cain then catalyzed a radically new free style in her by giving her an abstract ‘painting and cut up’ exercise. ‘I didn’t know how to paint an abstract. I just did it. Then I cut it up and remade it a few times. Then Frank said ‘now – put that away and make a painting’. This exercise, she says ‘transformed my art! When I turned to the canvas after this exercise, I just directly painted an abstract – ‘Casket’ – that was exactly what I wanted!’ I was delighted – and my art has just been like a ‘direct download’ ever since’. Frank appeared behind her and quietly said ‘what a beautiful abstract!’
Jelila continued to paint in London, in the evenings after work, getting a studio in an old mews building in trendy West Hampstead, which had been converted into studios for artists and designers. ‘It was approximately the size of a postage stamp!’ she says – ‘7 foot wide at the end – that was about the biggest painting I could make, and have space to step away from it!’ Jelila went on to have many exhibitions in the UK and overseas, starting with her first solo show at Kingsgate Gallery in West Hampstead, a gallery that often supported interesting artists at the start of their careers, and was connected to a large artist studio complex, in an old warehouse by the railway.
Exhibitions: Argile Gallery, Interior Argile, Agora Gallery New York, Tricycle Gallery London, La Brocca Exhibition, Jelila’s Art Studio – West Hampstead London, Nelly’s Art Space, Camden London.
Later, it was being made redundant from Chase that gave Jelila the impetus (and the funds) to have a year off and create the body of work for the Kingsgate exhibition. She later showed in many London galleries, including The Argile Gallery, Portobello Road, The Centaur Gallery, Highgate, and she was in a group show at Agora gallery in New York and from that was offered a solo show at Polaris Gallery, Budapest, which was very successful, in 1994. By then, she was working at Cable and Wireless, and the director of her division funded the flight for her show in Budapest as a reward for good work on a project. Later, Jelila was invited to create her own art rental company, called Working Images, that supplied art to a 4 storey building for that same company ‘to show controversial art that will create dialogue among the staff’ – which it certainly did – she smiles. ‘They were up in arms – it was great!’
Jelila also created exhibitions for herself, inviting her corporate colleagues to come along, with huge success – shows crammed with more than 300 attendees, and lots of sales – such as the one at La Brocca, above, and ‘Nelly’s Art Space’ – the sharing of the ‘inner child’ creativity and playfulness inspiring and delighting her corporate colleagues – ‘I showed them another world and invited them in’ says Jelila. ‘They loved it!’
Later, when working for BNP – Banque Paribas, a French bank, Jelila travelled to Bali on holiday and was bowled over by the colour, light, playfulness and spirituality there. ‘I felt like I was among people who were artists like me – all Balinese people are incredibly creative, artistic, and playful’ she says.
Jelila decided to settle in Bali, Indonesia, enchanted by the colour, light, playfulness, and the prevalence of artists there, meeting the Balinese artist who would become her husband, and having her daughter, Cahya there, in 1999.
Gallery Images: Jelila with husband and daughter Cahya, ‘Process make baby’ by Jelila in which she imagines a child being breathed into life (her own!), ‘Bali Bathers 1 & 2’ by Jelila – inspired by poolside days in Ubud, Jelila with a (grumpy!) daughter preparing to dance Balinese dance, first Ubud house and teaching yoga, Joining the Balinese Caste, Balinese wedding 1999, friend Andrew upstairs at Symon Studio Ubud, 2000.
In Ubud, Bali, a famous melting pot for art, culture, and healing, epitomised in the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Jelila became a very well-known and successful healer who works with colour as a vibrational energy. The bright, rainbow colours in Jelila’s art express feelings, the rainbow of her inner vision, relationships, and the energy that she sees all around her. She can see auras and the colour in paintings expresses feelings. Her work is for contemplation, healing, inspiration, meditation, and pure enjoyment.
At the same time as she was becoming a healer, Jelila continued to explore her inner world through her art. ‘While I was travelling to India and Australia and Singapore for my healing journey, I made oil pastel drawings’ she says ‘colourful and also portable!’
She works with a lot of people, healing them – has spent 20 years exploring the deep psyche of the many clients who come to her for healing and to sort out the ‘negative head stuff’ that is the bane of most people’s lives, with great success, designing her own healing method ‘The Reprogramming’, and writing 5 books about healing and transformation.
Jelila’s art is very psychological – very symbolic – an exploration of her own inner landscape. Yet it is normally lighthearted, not heavy. She uses light rainbow colours. Many symbols with deep meaning show up in her work – often these are shapes which represent figures – different parts of herself, relationships, or archetypes that we all have. ‘Figures or fairies sneak in’ she says. ‘Sometimes I’m shocked when I see a thumbnail of my work, on my computer, and suddenly see a whole different aspect of the painting – like, a whole area is actually a figure that I hadn’t seen at all while painting it!’ she says.
Jelila got her fabulous art studio in Ubud 18 months ago and now has plenty of space to paint and store her art (and to make ‘Ubud Fairy Village and Railway’), as well as a tiny hydroponic garden in the back.
In this next video, Jelila is in her studio, working again on ‘Welcome to the World’, and shares with you her magical healing process of self-discovery, change, and transformation.
‘Welcome to the World’ – created for Zero2expo – is a painting that directly explores, and heals, how Jelila feels about her own ‘welcome to the world’ at birth. (or, lack of it!)
Jelila says ‘As a healer with 20 years of deep experience with over 10,000 clients, I am absolutely certain that how we first come into the world, our first experiences, shape the creation of the rest of our lives – I am constantly helping others with this – and it is so important that birth and early experiences are handled with care and love – to create the foundation of a happy future.
‘My own birth experience was so traumatic – I was separated from my mother at birth, by the hospital and didn’t see her at all for 2 days – such that I was convinced that she was dead – and was confused about who I actually was, and who I belonged with – I thought the nurse was my mum! – that it has taken me more than 50 years and 20 years of being a healer, to get over it.
‘I explore that journey in the live video I made of the personal piece I have created for Zero2Expo, called ‘Welcome to the World’. In making this piece, I worked through my negative past and created new possibilities for a positive creation, for me, for you, and for everybody, as you’ll see in the video. I do hope you’ll enjoy it – and that you’ll support Zero2Expo – it’s a really powerful initiative and I am so happy and proud to be a part of it.’
Images: Welcome to the World is a series of paintings by Jelila, painted for Zero2Expo. Welcome to the World – creating happy birth. Return to Eden (Paradise Woman) – that women are free of guilt and joyful. Purity of Woman – that women are respected and have the natural right to control of their own bodies. Standing Stones of Love – that our family supports us, and that society reveres and supports the process of birth. Dream of my Creation – how we conjure our creations from our consciousness. Loving my World – how men and the physical world supports women and their creations. Eve Re-imagined – how our children are free to live the happy life they choose.
Jelila has painted in Bali for 22 years, treasuring the colour, light, beauty, playfulness and spirit there. Her beautiful half-Balinese daughter, Cahya, her proudest creation, is 19. Her books, The Gift of Harmony, The Reprogramming I and II, The Power of Crystals, Alien Wedding, and The Ugly Grub and The Pink Shed (illustrated children’s books) are on Amazon and Kindle.
GOOGLE: ‘Jelila Art’ to see her work online. IG: Artist Jelila
Also known as, and created art as Jeli Lala & Angela Torrington.
Born in 1960. Has a significant body of work in London.
Contact: e: email@example.com
t: +62 8585 735 4228 Whatsapp: +62 813 395 61271
Saachi Gallery Online
Fine Arts America
|La Brocca Café, W. Hampstead, London||1996||Solo Exhibition (Paintings, Drawings, Pastels)|
|Agora Gallery, New York||1994||Group Exhibition (Paintings)|
|Metro Gallery, London||1994||Solo Exhibition (Paintings)|
|Polaris Gallery, Budapest
Freud’s Bar, Café & Gallery, London
Solo Exhibition (Paintings & Drawings)
Solo Exhibition (Paintings & Drawings)
|Kingsgate Gallery , Kilburn, London||1990||Solo Exhibition (Paintings & Drawings)|
|Pranoto Gallery, Ubud, Bali||2000||Painters in Pairs (Art by artist couples)|
|CLS Holdings Plc, Kensington, London||1997-2001||In Company Art (Paintings & Pastels)|
|Nellie’s Art Space, Hampstead, London||1997||
Summer Exhibition (Paintings, Totems, Pastels, Hand-Painted Furniture, Ceramics)
|Archiutti Office Furniture, London||1996-7||Corporate Art Showroom (Paintings)|
|Cable & Wireless Plc, Theobald’s Road, London||1996-7||Corporate Art (Paintings)|
|CLS Holdings, London||1996||5m Mural, Private Collector, London|
|Usiskin Gallery, Hampstead, London||1993-5||Paintings|
|Centaur Gallery, Highgate, London||1993-5||Regular Group Exhibitions (Paintings)|
|Studio Gallery, Bristol||1993-5||Regular Gallery Artists Group Show, Paintings|
|Tricycle Theatre Gallery, NW6, London||1994||Drawing Exhibition (drawings)|
|Argile Gallery, Notting Hill, London||1994||Group Exhibition (paintings)|
|Beatrice Royal Gallery, East Leigh, UK||1994||Gallery Artists Exhibition (Paintings)|
|Battersea Art Fair, London||1993-4||Paintings, Drawings, Pastels|
|Gagliardi Gallery, Chelsea, London||1993||Group Exhibition (Paintings) & appeared in artists year book|
|Euro Gallery, The Cut, Waterloo, London||1993||Regular European Artists Exhibition (Paintings)|
|Art ’92 Art Fair, Chelsea, London||1992||Paintings|
|Brent Artmonth, Willesden, London||1992||Childrens paper mache animal workshop/exhibition|
|Phoenix Gallery, Highgate, London & Lavenham, Suffolk||1991||Young Artists Group Show (Paintings)|
|Ben Uri Gallery, St. John’s Wood, London||1991||Group Exhibition (Paintings)|