Uninhibited expressions
By Thiruni Kelegama
Motion and energy. That is what Noella Roos has to offer in her exhibition -'Nakedness'.

Writes Prof. S. B. Dissanayake in the foreword to her catalogue: "What comes to mind, if one is lucky enough to see Noella at work, is the total involvement of all energies, of both mind and energy, in the making of her pictures."

"I draw dancers," states Noella explaining her Siberian charcoal drawings. "I get them to come to my studio and play some music and ask them to dance... or move to the music. And whilst they are doing this, I draw."

"I do about 50 drawings," she admits ruefully. "But most of them are nothing but lines. I have to keep drawing, and finally I pick one of the lot."

Coming from a family of artists, Noella has always had a passion for art. "I grew up with art. It is in my blood and that's probably why I have been drawing all my life."

"Why is her exhibition titled 'Nakedness'?" "It is naked, yes? I don't get them to pose, I get them to dance. They have no idea what I am doing. I just draw them when they are totally immersed in their dancing and lost to the outside world," she explains. "It is strange, and I feel as if I am looking at something private. And the best way I could put it was by calling my exhibition 'Nakedness'." Noella's drawings have precision in them. At close range, one can see a geometric precision in her figures. The lines which she has based her drawing on, echo the style most Renaissance artists endorsed. Some of them are built within triangles, and some within squares. It proves that at the beginning, the drawing was nothing but a geometric shape.

"I believe in strict lines," she says, explaining why she adheres to this discipline of art. "Any painting done during the Renaissance would have the same principle. This fascinates me... there is something demanding in this style, and I like it."

What makes her drawings unique is the fact that she finds the lines and movements of a person more interesting than his or her looks. "When I do a portrait, I don't try to capture the eyes or the shape of the nose. I would rather capture the way the person is seated and the magic in their movements."

"Then, I would reveal something someone might not know about the person and I definitely will not be able to do that if I draw her face and figure. That is what I believe to be beautiful about a person."

" Abstract art is definitely more accepted in Holland," says this Dutch artist. "The kind of drawing I do has lost its popularity. But for me it is more personal. The 'new forms' are not my style," she admits. "But yes, I might resort to them in time to come. Who knows?"

Stanley Kirinde felicitation publication
Picturing the life of an artist
As an artist Stanley Kirinde was something of a prodigy. By the age of 10, he was winning prizes for art not only at school but at national competitions. Now, at the age of 72, a steady stream of paintings continues to flow from his brush.

Today he is the nearest person we have to an official painter. His paintings, murals and mosaics adorn the walls of President's House (Kandy and Colombo), the Foreign Ministry, military academies, churches and several government and private institutions including foreign museums (the Fukuoka Art Museum, the Singapore Art Museum, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts), and the United Nations in Geneva. His work has been exhibited in Bangladesh, Japan, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. His illustrations have appeared in several books, most recently in a reprinting of Marie Musaeus-Higgins' Stories from Ceylon History.

Despite this eminence, he is still not as widely known as he should be because of his modest and retiring disposition, and to date there is only one small cameo publication about him - A Classical Vision: The Art and Landscape of Stanley Kirinde (Colombo 1998) by Dr. SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda and Kapila Ariyananda. The selection of paintings for that publication ended at 1980. The time has come for another publication which would properly document a lifetime of painting by a major Sri Lankan artist.

The beauty of Kirinde's art lies in the fact that it covers most of Sri Lanka's cultural heritage and environment. It touches on all the manifold aspects of the country's identity - its Buddhist inheritance, its stunning landscapes, its fabled history and its vivid contemporary life. The artist captures all these different facets, making him an ideal brand label for Sri Lanka, an image which we can project all over the world as the face of Sri Lanka in all its many forms. Any further study of his works must aim to record all the different periods and styles in Kirinde's paintings. It should have a schematic structure which would feature the whole range of his work - miniature paintings, history canvasses, Buddhist sutras and Jataka tales, landscapes, portraits and contemporary scenes, oil paintings and water colours. It should try to show as much as possible the full range of Kirinde's talent in all kinds of media including his line drawings, sketches, woodcarvings, book illustrations etc.

The aim will be to place this work alongside the comprehensive studies of George Keyt and Ivan Peiris as a worthy tribute to another great Sri Lankan artist. Unlike many of our other painters, Kirinde's work is accessible and easy to understand. His paintings are more about how he sees Sri Lanka and less about the way he sees himself. This is what makes him so effective as a mirror of the country.

To this purpose the book should also be about Sri Lanka as much as Kirinde. Given the scope of the project, photography will be a key element. A project is underway to publish a hard-bound book on quality art paper with at least 130 colour photographs. It will entail using the services of Sri Lanka's most eminent photographers. The writing of the text will be handled by a highly qualified scholar and writer, Dr. SinhaRaja Tammita-Delgoda, whose work is published and sold across three continents.

You too could contribute
Contributions are kindly solicited to finance this publication, the projected cost of which is approximately Rs. 3 Million. Contributions may be sent by cheque/draft, crossed account payee, in favour of "The Stanley Kirinde Felicitation Project", C/o Ernst & Young, Chartered Accountants, 201, De Saram Place, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka.

Any inquiries regarding the project should please be addressed to Mr. Duminda Hulangamuwa, Partner, Ernst & Young. Tel: 697363 - Ext. 102, E mail - Tax@lk. Fax - 074 710383. It is expected that the publication will be ready by mid - 2003. Proceeds from sales of the publication will go to the Stanley Kirinde Foundation for the promotion of painting in Sri Lanka, especially by young artists.

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