and blacks of a material world
"If I have touched your heart in any possible way,
I shall claim to be an accomplished being...."
reads the artist's note.
And how I set
about touching your heart, is through my paintings, says Thanushka
artist, aged 23, will hold another of her exhibitions from September
27 - 30 at the Art Gallery, Colombo. Titled "The World Outside',
Thanushka will exhibit 15 acrylic paintings which will portray paintings
of 'life in the material world'.
that there are two kinds of worlds- the material world and the idealistic
world. I try my best to focus on and portray the materialistic world,
through my paintings. An idealistic world is everyone's dream and
maybe my future paintings will focus on this world, but until then
I am satisfied with my impressions of the material world..."
says this budding artist.
She began painting
in 1985, at Mahamaya Girls College, Kandy and has already had two
solo exhibitions. Her first was titled "Abstract Visions Through
Reality" and her second was "Silence."
figures," she says. True enough, nearly all her paintings contained
female figures. "Most often the colours I use are dark blues,
browns and black. They somehow seem to represent the material world."
'Kamma' portrays a woman seated on a bed, bemoaning her sins. She
has been placed within a circle and tiny red strokes fill the painting.
"The red strokes symbolise her sins..." Thanushka explains.
"I like to paint in blue too..." she says indicating the
different shades of blue which make up the picture.
Her most interesting
picture is an interpretation of Vincent van Gogh's 'Sunflowers'.
"The female figure in my painting is the vase in Vincent's.
used almost the same shades of yellow and the same number of sunflowers.
Van Gogh, was one of the greatest artists ever," she explains.
"it is a pity that no one understood him and that led him to
commit suicide. "That is what I try to show in my painting.
That artists should be understood."
are a result of immense thought. I think about what I am going to
paint for days and do a number of studies. But, the painting can
be finished in about a day," she says. "The idea for the
painting develops slowly in my mind and I think it out to the last
dreams for 'little theatre'
A new kind of theatre to revive and foster the drama scene
in Sri Lanka. That is the thinking behind the 'Little Theatre' concept
of a famous name in theatre circles, Namel Weeramuni and his wife
Malini Weeramuni and their Art Circle.
Theatre named the "Namel and Malini Punchi Theatre" will
be located in Borella. It has been their dream, nurtured secretly
with patience and fortitude, from the '60s, they confess.
The Arts Circle
believes the Little Theatre will promote an appreciative and intelligent
audience and keep alive the theatre arts. Formed in early 1976,
the Arts Circle has been more active abroad, since Namel and Malini
were resident in foreign climes for a long time, though returning
to Sri Lanka periodically to present theatrical productions and
It is well
known that dramatists are discouraged because they do not have a
proper and readily available venue for rehearsals. The Circle's
intention is not only to provide a venue for rehearsals of plays
but also a stage for small audiences to view plays and other events.
The objective of this project will be to make available such a theatre
as a national and international venue to all artistes.
It will also
be to establish the theatre as a centre in the promotion of national
and international peace and harmony through the medium of art and
They will also
try to create an awareness and pride of the theatrical arts and
their cultural values among the youth and general public.
The main objective
of the Little Theatre, however will be to create a low cost play
production scheme and promote a regular theatre audience through
a membership drive. They also hope to produce both Sinhala and English
plays and since the audience will be limited to 100 people, the
plays will run for about two weeks.
foundation-laying ceremony of the "Punchi Theatre" building
will be on October 23.
College, National Drum and Dance Troupe recently celebrated its
30th anniversary with a presentation of delightful cultural miscellany.
It is traditional
to pay tribute to the guardian deity on such an occasion and so
it was the opening item for the evening. With the horns and horanas
and drums, and particularly the rich and resonant sound of the geta
bera the item was impressively executed.
In the tradition
of the low country Kolam dance, the story of Jasa and Lenchina was
beautifully played. There was the roguish Jasa with his cavorts
and capers but it was pretty Lenchina who stole the show and charmed
the audience, full of nonchalant coquettish teasing and chiding.
were the six dancers on whom the coveted Ves status has been bestowed,
which is the highest recognition a Kandyan dancer could hope to
attain. They were magnificent with their heads held high with justifiable
pride enacting a dance sequence from that enduring Kohombakankariya.
was the most striking, featuring almost all groups involved in the
show. It was a performance with distinct clarity, allowing for group
solos of the different instruments and drums.
September 29, is the Festival of
St. Michael and All Angels and churches all over the world dedicated
to St. Michael celebrate their patronal festival at this time. The
Church at Polwatte, Colombo 3 dedicated to St. Michael and all Angels
keeps the 115th Anniversary of its dedication and the 80th anniversary
of the installation of the pipe organ presented by Sir Thomas Villiers
in memory of his son who died in World War I.
will hold a Choral Festival on September 29, at 6 p.m. Anthems by
Ralph Vaughan-Williams, Samuel Wesley and others, will be sung by
the choir interspersed with readings and congregational hymns.
set free young artists
Alfreda de Silva
In that galaxy of teachers who formed the staff of the
legendary Girton School, Nugegoda, was Cora Abraham - a courageous,
outspoken, distinctive personality with a wonderful sense of humour.
She was my
English teacher at Girton from Sixth Grade to the Matriculation.
She also taught us geography and mathematics and had the knack of
correlating subjects like geography and English in a way that was
totally interesting to the student.
take in topics ranging from 'Breakfast in an igloo' to 'A broiling
afternoon in a rain-forest in Ceylon' or 'Listening to the devil-bird
at night'. Imagination was all, after a chat between teacher and
We were fascinated
with Mrs. Abraham's original dress-sense - pastel cotton khaddar
frocks in green, orange or yellow (which she pronounced 'jello'),
or at the other end of the spectrum, shocking pink or indigo. These
were worn with beige stockings and smart shoes.
They were set
off by matching hand - woven indikola belt and hat from Kalutara.
The latter graced the staff room in solitary splendour each day.
Right down to her hand bags Mrs. Abraham supported local industries.
could have begun in Madras where she worked for some time with the
YWCA, after her term of study at the Government Training College
in Colombo. She specialized in the teaching of English. She was
the sister of Shelton Blacker, the Manager of Girton. Their grandfather,
William Blacker of British origin had come to Ceylon with the first
batch of English officials of the Indian government after the capitulation
of Colombo by the Dutch.
years of teaching in the schools of Colombo and the outstations,
Mrs. Abraham retired. Suddenly we had news that she had opened an
Art School known as the Melbourne Art Classes, so called because
they were held in a garage of her home in Melbourne Avenue. These
classes are now in their 53rd year. Those who had never known the
real Mrs. Abraham, the artist with words and with freedom of expression
as her technique were surprised. But not those who had come under
her spell in an English classroom. Mrs. Abraham's Art School went
from strength to strength. Distinguished artists like Richard Gabriel
and Mallika Kulasekera, and Laki Senanayake joined her staff, and
her students made a name for themselves both here and abroad. These
art classes are now run by Chandra Thenuwara and Nalini Weerasinghe.
Mrs. A was
self-taught, having immersed herself in the writings and philosophy
of the famous Austrian artist Cizek which projected art as the door
through which children savoured mental stimulation and the enjoyment
me to her very first exhibition of her young artists' work fifty
years ago at the National Art Gallery.
me with its startling newness and the freedom of choice to express
themselves that the youngsters displayed.
was five years old when I took her to Mrs. Abraham's art classes
and I was delighted with her progress.
At an exhibition
the next year I saw how painters and paintings expressed their provocative
perceptions. They defied tradition and old worn-out trends. The
ages of the artists ranged from four to fourteen. My daughter was
The walls clanged
with colour - purple elephants trumpeted; green cows champed red
grass; wild geese flew over black lilies. There were people too
in these pictures of water colours, pastels, oils, gouache, acrylic
and charcoal. Parents and grandparents moved around the National
who had inspired this profusion of painting, and believed that art
was an expression of both love and hate, courage and fear, joy and
grief; that art was therapy, art was all, shepherded me to the far
wall, and asked me, "What do you think of that?" "Intriguing,"
I said. The water colour prominently displayed was filled with resonances
and disonances of paint content and colour, balanced artistically
against each other.
The large work
was divided into three parallel horizonal sections - white, bright
yellow and turquoise blue for background. On it an outsize distorted
face painted orange with green eyes, red lips askew, and white teeth,
glared under a head of coiled black hair. I stared and stared.
Mrs A, now
colourfully garbed in salwar kameez, a scarf floating behind her
and slippers on her feet, gave me a catalogue and moved away. I
turned its pages. There was the name of the artist and beneath it,
very simply stated: 'Mummy in a temper'.
Over the heads
of the crowd my child had seen me in front of her picture. She came
beaming towards me, pleased with herself, innocently happy, and
took my hand as I bent down to hug her.
Korner by Dee Cee
in Sinhala for students
It never dawned on me that Percy Jayamanne had been a journalist
for over forty years. Meeting him the other day, it was evident
that he hasn't changed much, at least not in physical appearance,
over the years. Having got to know him during my Lake House days
when he joined the Silumina editorial staff, we have been in contact
right through and I have always appreciated his keen interest in
exposing his readers to contemporary knowledge.
Percy has been
working on a big project for many years - the compilation of an
encyclopedia in Sinhala. Years of planning resulted in the first
volume being released a few months back. The second volume is just
out. Percy's plan is to complete the project in 15 volumes. He hopes
to release an issue every month.
Percy has always
been very methodical in his work. When he started several special
supplements in the journals he worked for - 'Silumina', 'Vijaya'
and 'Navayugaya' (his last assignment was as Editor, Navayugaya)
- with the objective of imparting knowledge to the readers, he collected
a lot of material that he catalogued systematically with the hope
of publishing them in volume form. 'Lama Ha Yovun Vishva Koshaya'
(Children's & Youth Encyclopaedia) is the outcome.
working on numerous newspapers and journals, I realised the thirst
for knowledge. The readers kept asking so many questions. The information
I gathered in answering readers' queries helped me in compiling
the encyclopaedia,' Percy says.
Though the encyclopaedia is primarily meant for students, even
at my age, I found the first volume quite interesting. It deals
with words beginning with the first letter of the Sinhala alphabet
'a'. The topics cover a wide range, both foreign and local. The
inclusion of local subjects makes it more appealing since these
are not readily available for quick reference.
example, is covered extensively giving the reader valuable information.
Life sketches of personalities in numerous fields including those
in the arts are also included. How many of us can remember that
there were nine Sinhala kings with the name Agbo? Percy lists them
all with historical notes about each one.
with a lot of pictures, sketches and maps, there are several pages
printed on art paper with colour photographs too. The first volume
running into190 pages has a fine finish with easy to read clean
print. The use of English terms as an additional guide where appropriate
Percy has also started an 'Encyclopaedia Club' offering a number
of services to the members. In addition to a 35% discount on copies
of the Encyclopaedia, they will be offered additional information
on any subject they like. They will be guided on where to look for
further reference. The members will also be encouraged to exchange
information among themselves thereby encouraging them to improve
The handy invitation to 'A Preview of the recent work of Sybil
Keyt and Neville Weeraratne' carries a colourful drawing by Sybil
- a glimpse of what we can expect at the Barefoot Gallery from today
Australia, Sybil and Neville make it a point to return at regular
intervals and let us enjoy their creative pursuits.