Visually vibrant women in motion
By D.B. Kappagoda
Iromie Wijewardena's forthcoming art exhibition to be held at the Harold Peiris Gallery from August 5 to 8, can be considered a landmark in her career. Her paintings include oils, mixed media and line drawings showing the direction she has taken in the contemporary art scene.

In the present series of paintings numbering 30, she explores her favourite theme - women and their multifaceted lifestyles. She explains that what she tries to do is to depict the transformation of the village women to breadwinners, giving them recognition for their contribution to society.

With this object in mind, she has portrayed women in different poses using vibrant colours. The figures she has painted move in a rhythmic manner in the form of a dance.The backgrounds contrast with the colours used to portray the women.

The secret of Iromie's success as an artist lies in the manner in which she composes her figures outlining them either standing or seated. She uses bright colours to achieve the desired effect.

"Rhythm in Pink", "Flames and Rhythm", "The Dancer" and the Bread Winner series - "The Vendor", "Tea Break" and "Water Melons Galore" are some of the paintings which portray aspects of Iromie's country women. That they are different to the women living in towns is clear. Iromie shows the beauty and grace of the feminine form in the elongated figures in different poses, representing pure emotion.

The style in which the figures have been executed highlights the beauty of the feminine figure. The light spills into the corners of the pictures bringing life to figures, says Iromie.

The figures are not mere images but symbols of emotion like the gypsy woman holding her child, giving us the idea of motherly love. The palmyrah trees in the corner suggest the location of the scene. Her aim is to express the beauty of women under different circumstances using the spectrum of colours.

There is subtle sensuality in her style of painting the faces of women. Expressive colours dominate all her canvases and will no doubt capture the eye of the connoisseur.

Fusion of colours and feelings
This exhibition titled "Ethnic Splendour" is an inspiration of exquisite antiques, local religions and the varying colour and feel of different cultures that the artist Shanila de Alwis, has placed against backgrounds of exotic textured surfaces.

Her paintings are an expression of her feelings reunited with a fusion of her favourite colours. For Shanila, painting has always been a personal language of expression and a form of meditation.

Shanila held her first solo art exhibition at the Lionel Wendt in 2000. Having graduated from the Malaysian Institute of Art in 2003, Shanila is now a fulltime artist.

Art for Shanila is not work, it is something she loves doing and which gives her an immense sense of satisfaction and wellbeing. Amongst her many achievements is the Gold Medal for the "Best Fine Arts Student for 2003".

Although she is as fun loving as anyone of her age, Shanila says that "discipline and hard work always pays off in whatever you do in life. It has always worked for me."

Shanila's latest exhibition of art will be held on August 7 and 8 at the Lionel Wendt Gallery from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Bringing back memories of yesteryear
'The Prisoner's Song', an evening of entertainment will be held on August 6 and 7 at the Russian Cultural Centre. The show is presented by the Inner Wheel Club of Colombo Mid Town.

Well-known singers Bosco Fonseka, Denzil Perera, Clifford Richards, Kevin Francke, Shamindra and Suhardhini Perera and Shenali Peiris will take the stage to give their renditions of perennial favourites like Delilah, Banks of the Ohio, Green Green Grass of Home, Jail House Rock etc.

The musical backing for the show will be by Indrani Wijesundara on piano, Nihal de Silva on drums, Premila Perimpanayagam on violin, Mervyn Mendis on saxophone and Prasad Fernando on bass, all members of Friends in Harmony.

The show is produced by Nazli Zuhyle who has several past successes such as 'Among My Souvenirs', 'Family Harmony', 'Songs to Remember' and 'Alphabetically Yours'. Proceeds will go to the worthy cause of rehabilitating prisoners.

Tickets are available at the Russian Cultural Centre and the Lanley Paint Centre, 419, Galle Road, Colombo 3.

Where the dry zone comes alive
By Ishani Ranasinghe
"Each footpath which leads through the trees carries a great memory of a man." These are the thoughts of the Red Indian Chief Seattle and those of Kosala Priyam Kumara who attempts to show this through his paintings.

Aptly titled 'My Dry Zone', Kosala explains that his latest paintings are woven around the landscapes of the dry zone. "Living in the city, I felt that there was a certain enchantment in Anuradhapura, Vavuniya and the areas in between when I visited them," says this artist who is an undergraduate at the Institute of Aesthetic Studies of the University of Kelaniya.

Drawing inspiration from the works of European and other impressionists, he says, these artists experimented with new ideas. Having held his first exhibition in VAFA Gallery in1999, over the years Kosala has also had many group exhibitions and a few awards to his name.

His choice of medium for his paintings varies from oil on canvas to mixed media and acrylic, but all his paintings have a life of their own. His paintings have focused on different areas such as rivers, paddy fields, footpaths, and abandoned railway tracks, all from the dry zone.

"Through my paintings I have focused on making the onlooker realise the changes the dry zone undergoes during the rainy season," says Kosala adding that he visited all the places he has painted. Kosala's exhibition will be held at the Thambapani Gallery from August 7 - 31 from 11.00 a.m - 11.00 p.m.

Young and talented, they entertained the audience
The Young Performers' concert held at the EOE Pereira Theatre, in Peradeniya recently was absolutely delightful. All the participants were under 19 and the standard of the individual/group performers was high.

The concert was lengthy but varied. The repertoire included a Japanese dance, folk dances, Bharatha Natyam, modern and classical instrumental and vocal works and poetry.

The talent of these young performers is undeniable, the pianists and dancers being particularly impressive. The experienced adjudicator Professor Tim Scott decided to make the following awards:

The Kandy Music Society Performer of the Year award went to Namali Premawardhana for her piano solo and special awards were given to Renushi Perera, Chamithri Ranatunga, Dhanushya Amaratunga, Jason Samuel, Dakshith Samaraweera and the dance group.

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