Behold a bark of beauty
'A Tree - A Poem', is a novel exhibition of photographs of tree bark by Hemantha Arunasiri that will be held on August 14, 15 and 16 at the Harold Peiris Gallery.Taken in a small frame of around 4 x 8 square inches on each tree, the photographs have been enlarged to 12 x 18 inches.

Having been in the field for nearly 22 years, Hemantha in the past, concentrated mainly on commercial photography. Though his actual work with nature photography started last year, he firmly believes that he got his grounding amidst the 37 acres of greenery surrounding Dharmarajah College, Kandy. " It's the only school situated in an area which has so many trees," he smiles adding that growing up in such an environment really helped him appreciate nature.

When making the switch to nature photography, Hemantha had to decide which aspect to focus on. The two most common areas in this field of course are landscapes and wildlife. Wanting to explore the field he took many walks through the forests of Kandy looking for possible subjects. As hoped for his expeditions opened his eyes to the wonders of the trees and their barks.

The inspiration to photograph tree barks actually came from a particular tree in the Udawattekelle forest in Kandy. " I noticed an extraordinary reflection on this bark, and when I looked closer I realized that it was not a reflection from any outside force but a part of the tree itself," says Hemantha adding that he then decided to look for more like it. He now sees the bark of each tree as its fingerprint. " Each bark is unique and you can find no other like it, anywhere else in the world," he says adding that this is the reason behind the theme of his exhibition, the poem behind each tree.

"There are some features in the bark, particularly the colour, that you really cannot see with the naked eye," says Hemantha explaining that with the camera he is able to capture these unseen images and reveal them to the world. For this however, one must have a vast knowledge of the subject in question; photography. Fortunately Hemantha has no problem in this area. Having started his career in 1981, he became a member of the Kandy Upcountry Photographic Society, where he now serves as a teacher. He is also a guest lecturer at the Kelaniya University and conducts a photography course for police officers.

Hemantha's pictures come from various parts of the country. Hemantha considered the different geographical zones to include a wider variety of trees. So far he has covered several areas in his hometown Kandy, like the Udawattekelle forest, Pujapitiya and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. He also has pictures from Warakapola and Polonnaruwa. His findings however, were better than expected and he was able to collect a large number of pictures within a short time, prompting him to hold an exhibition.

Hemantha hopes that his work will inspire other photographers to look for new areas in the environmental field.

Emotions break through rhythmic patterns of strokes
By Sachie Fernando
"My effort here is to use the grammar and fundamentals of the pictorial language in my search for man," says Santha Jayalath commenting on his present series of paintings 'Images Within'. This is Santha's second solo exhibition portraying his individual style in painting human figures. He says he put in a lot of effort on 'human face portrayals' this time and used a different texture and varied the colours.

A bachelor of fine arts from the University of Kelaniya, art has been a passion from his school days. At present he is working in the Open University as an illustrator in the graphic field. He has been in many group exhibitions and also participated in some workshops. One of his cherished moments is the experience he gathered in the International Art Camp in India organized by the Art Academy of Thrinali. He said the influences have helped him to bring out the images of human drama in day-to-day life. He has also won several awards at the National Art and Sculpture Festival proving his talent in this field.

'Images Within' will contain 30 of the best works of Santha showing his sensitivity towards human nature and his rapport with his subject. The changes of colour and texture are seen on the canvases in oils and acrylics and also in watercolours. The portrait of a lonely man staring in the corner of a room, points to the profound emotions of lonely men in society. Every painting of Santha carries something for the onlooker to learn from and be sensitive of.

The colours are deep and are used in a rhythmic pattern with disciplined brushstrokes and simple lines. And through the surfaces and smudged patches of paint, through the interaction of colours and canvas, the innermost feeling of the artist emerge.

Santha's exhibition which opened on July 30 will continue until August 20 at the Paradise Road Gallery.

Thanking through music
'Gaudeamus!' Two evenings of classical music honouring teachers will be held on August 13 at 6.30 p.m. at the EOE Pereira Theatre, Engineering Faculty, University of Peradeniya and on August 14 at 7.00 p.m. at the Russian Cultural Centre, Colombo.

Bridget Halpe, her pupils and the Peradeniya Singers have decided to present an evening of classical music to honour teachers and all those engaged in the noble task of education.

The evening features third generation musicians of these teachers. With solo performances of classical works by Debussy, Grieg, Brahms, Max Bruch and Schumann, music in a lighter vein, in a vocal quartet, a vocal trio and a vocal duet, instrumental music including piano and violin, the concert will also have the Peradeniya Singers in works of polyphony to modern counterpoint.

Admission is by programme that can be obtained from Mrs. Bridget Halpe (Tel: 081 2239113), Mrs Hassinee Andree (2723026) and at the door.

From landscapes to still life
She is one of the many young artists full of promise.Dina Fernando whose paintings reflect a mature talent holds her second exhibition "The Trails of Serendib" on August 14 and 15 at the Lionel Wendt Gallery. The exhibition will be opened by Professor Senaka Bandaranayake on August 13 at 6.30 p.m.

Dina began painting from the age of 13. She attended the art classes conducted by the Y.W.C.A. but says it was the guidance and inspiration from Lathifa Ismail that motivated her to widen her interest in the arts. At present she is an art teacher at the Sapumal Foundation.

Dina's second solo exhibition will have 47 of her paintings, on a variety of themes from land and seascapes to still life studies, figures, birds and semi-abstracts.

Harsha to delight audience with mix of classical & popular
Pianist, Harsha Abeyaratne, will be performing at the Lionel Wendt on Sunday, December 19 in a programme featuring popular works for solo piano by Schubert, Debussy, Liszt, Muczynski, Brahms, and Prokofiev. Harsha resides in the United States and is currently an Assistant Professor of Music at Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio.

Harsha received a Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science at Lewis and Clark College, Portland Oregon, and a Master of Music and Doctor of Arts in Music at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. His teachers at Lewis and Clark and Ball State, were Ann Schaffert Miller and Robert Palmer, both highly respected in the United States.

In addition to teaching piano, he collaborates with faculty and students, and teaches Arts and Humanities of the West as well as Ear Training and Sight Singing.

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