more than just a picture in a work of art
"Art gives one the opportunity to think deeply. It
is more than a picture being pleasing to the eye, it's about the
intelligence it brings out," says Priyantha Udagedara, an undergraduate
of the Institute of Aesthetics in the University of Kelaniya.
When he first
started painting, his work was based on the lifestyles of the people
of his hometown Kandy. The hill capital is a place where people's
thinking is different, he says. After he began studying art, "there
was a change in my paintings. I got ideas and inspiration from the
study of artists and the history of art."
He feels that
contemporary artists have more freedom these days to express what
they feel. "They are more open to new ideas and use any medium
they prefer." Influenced by the likes of Jagath Weerasinghe
and Chandragupta Thenuwara, Priyantha also admires the works of
German artist Clement. "His works were basically based on the
everyday lifestyles of the people," he comments.
his first solo exhibition in Kandy in 1998, Priyantha has also been
in many group exhibitions.
of Priyantha's paintings on the themes of landscape and figures
will be held at the Paradise Road Galleries from June 4 to 24.
and dark secrets
releases his first book, China Bay Blues
Enter a world
of heat lightning and jazz, old radios and secret songs, the conversations
that lovers have in the moments before dawn.
Blues' is the debut collection of poetry and short stories from
former Sunday Times journalist Afdhel Aziz. Drawing on the rich
imagery of Sri Lanka, Afdhel creates poems of simple intimacy.
The book is
divided into two sections. 'Noon Shadows' features poems about Sri
Lanka, exploring the lush intimacy of the country, as well as its
darker side. There are meditations on nationality, patriotism, the
ethnic conflict - as well as more sensuous pieces that dwell on
the deep and abiding fascination that the writer has for his country.
is a more intimate memoir that traces the arc of a fictional relationship
through the use of lyrical love poetry. Inspired by the work of
Pablo Neruda and William Carlos Williams, the poems speak of the
birth of attraction, the flowering into passion, the difficulties
that weigh down on lovers, and the serenity that comes with true
collection ends with two short pieces; 'The House on the Corner',
an experimental verse poem, and 'Happiness', a bleaker piece of
prose that is in deliberate counterpart to the lyrical lightness
that pervades the majority of the collection.
The poems are
beautifully complemented by the work of Sri Lankan born photographer
Shehani Fernando, who is based in London. Her black and white images
act as a visual counterpart to the poetry, and eye for telling detail
and her ability to capture that perfect moment is well documented
in this series of her work. From the serenity of schoolboys meditating
in front of a giant Buddha statue to the swing of a jazz saxophonist
in full flow, Shehani has the gift for portraying the unusual and
quotidian in strange and unexpected ways.
was a journalist, radio DJ, TV producer and writer in Colombo for
many years. After graduating from King's College, London with a
degree in English Literature, he returned to Sri Lanka to work in
the media industry. Writing as 'The Chunky Monkey' in The Sunday
Times he reported on Colombo's cultural life, as well as writing
weekly columns on film and music.
At TNL Radio,
he did a stint as the voice of 'The Morning Zoo' and also co-hosted
the groundbreaking Friday night ''The Completely Different Radio
Show". At YATV, he was the writer and presenter on shows such
as 'YA Café' and 'YA News'. He also contributed to 'Explore
Sri Lanka' and 'Serendib'.
Sri Lanka to do a Masters in Media at the London School of Economics,
he went on to a career at Procter and Gamble UK, working on Max
Factor and Vidal Sassoon. After getting bored with flogging hair
and make up products, he decided to return to his first love, media.
He now works for leading UK media company EMAP, where he is the
Brand Manager on Kiss 100, London's market leading station for young
people, and Mixmag , the bible of dance music and club culture.
He is currently working on his second book, a novel.
now works for the BBC covering the arts in London.
She studied history at Cambridge University and freelanced for a
number of independent TV documentary production companies.
Blues' is the first offering from a new publishing imprint, Serendipity
Unlimited which is dedicated to discovering and promoting new Sri
Lankan writing talent.
For more information
on China Bay Blues, visit:www.serendipityunlimited.org or www.afdhelaziz.com
Colours of the
It was quite by chance that Thanuja Krishnaratna stumbled
on her talent. When the market research firm that she worked in
as an analyst moved into a new building, her colleagues there looked
around desperately for something to cover an unwanted door.
An idea took shape in Thanuja's mind and she volunteered to do something
prior to the inauguration. What turned out was a painting on raw
fabric with an eye-catching combination of colours, giving brightness
and colour to a room that was otherwise sober. It drew much appreciation
from all who entered there.
Thanuja who now works for Ceylinco Insurance has a special degree
in Mathematics from the University of Colombo and is simultaneously
studying actuarial science to be an 'Actuary' - one who models and
predicts the future of financial businesses' like banks and insurance
companies, based on past statistical information. Apparently, Sri
Lanka has only 4-5 actuaries at the moment.
maths," she laughs, proving wrong all those who thought that
one couldn't have an artistic and a (mathematical) logically thinking
mind. Looking at her vibrant collection of pictures that are semi-abstract,
expertly shaded in rich colours with a hint of metallic, one cannot
but admire the work of a beginner.
a preference for large pieces in which she uses Kithul twigs and
pieces of jute, the result - an attractive ethnic effect. With the
fabric in front of her, she sets about her work by visualizing a
picture, attempting a novel idea and expertly balances the colours.
"I try to do something different," she smiles.
At her exhibition
on June 8 and 9 at the Art Gallery, Thanuja will display over 30
to entertain you once again
Wilson Gunaratne's hilarious comedy goes on the boards on June 8
at the Bishop's College auditorium at 6.30 p.m.
The play is
being staged by the Rotary Club of Colombo, Mid City to raise funds
for renovations to the Maternity Hospital, in Colombo 2.
has been applauded by viewers across the country for its political
portrays seven different roles in the play. The cast includes Ramanee
Fonseka, Susil Perera and Premaratne Tennakoon.