Lines of beauty and shade
By Marisa de Silva
A specialist in line drawing, Karunasiri Wijesinghe is now pioneering the technique of Pyrography in our country. An artist cum lecturer at Vibhavi Academy of Fine Arts (VAFA) and the Sri Palee campus, Horana, he has been very much a part of the art scene over the past 20 years. "Prakurthi", his fifth solo exhibition will be held on June 14 and 15 from 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt gallery.

Having received his fine arts degree from the Institute of Aesthetic Studies, University of Kelaniya, Karunasiri went on to participate in many competitions and exhibitions both at home and overseas, including the Asian Art Show, Bangladesh, The International Artists Camp exhibition at the National Art Gallery and the Korean-Sri Lanka Contemporary Art exhibition. He also won the State Literary Award for the best book cover of the year in 1987.

Having been introduced to the art of pyrography about one and a half years ago by one of his friends who had gifted him with a Pyropen, Karunasiri has now mastered this technique. This is also done using a Pyrography iron or wood burner. Pyrography is the art of burning an image onto a surface; usually timber or leather. The word "pyro" means fire and "graph" means art. It is a versatile art form because it gives the artist the ability to create a vast range of images on any timber or leather surface, Karunasiri said. The art of pyrography can be used to create pictures or decorate items like wooden spoons, picture frames, doorstopers, furniture and so on, added Karunasiri.

He makes use of the natural shading and flaws in the wood, to add character to his paintings, he says. Karunasiri has a rare talent for capturing the intricate subtleties of nature through his detailed drawings of trees, creepers and plants.

He spends at least a week for a drawing, either on location or back at home, painstakingly perfecting his work. He explains how "trees have a certain aura about them that may not be visible to the lay person's eye, that's what I try to show through my paintings". If one particular tree catches his eye, even if it's one among many, he first isolates and then magnifies the object before drawing it as though it were the only tree in the area.

Most of his drawings are done in black and white because using colour, he feels distracts the viewer from the finer details and beauty of the subject. His exhibition will feature 50 paintings done using both line art and pyrography techniques. So far he has done pyrography only on wood but will progress to leather in time to come, he says.

To all ye-We’re serious thespians!
Clearing the air - The Elizabeth actors speak out....
Dear Sir,
On behalf of the members of Stagefright&Panic, we, the actors of the play "Elizabeth - Almost by chance a woman" would like you to print this letter in your newspaper.

l Learning the lines of the play - It has been suggested by some members of the public that we have not yet learnt the lines of the play. We would like to categorically state that we have only one copy of the script and have had to share it amongst all of us. Further, the notion that actors should know all their lines is archaic and comes from a fossilized theatre form. In fact, actors with exceptional talent and skill need not learn any lines at all. We feel that as actors of exceptional talent and skill we fit the bill nicely and can afford to ad lib at will.

l Regular Rehearsals - The aforementioned members of the public, have also implied that the absence of regular rehearsals might affect the standard of the play and denote a lack of commitment to the production. Due to an error in communication a section of us believed that rehearsals were being held at the Wendt while the other section thought they were being held at Michael's house. It took us the better part of three months to realize that all of us were not in the same place. Now that this anomaly has been rectified we all meet for strenuous rehearsals (some of which sometimes go on for almost 40 minutes) on a regular basis. In fact we met up last week and will do so next week as well. Please note that for actors of exceptional talent and skill (see point above) bi-weekly rehearsals are considered a bit much.

l Excessive food consumption of the cast - we would like to point out that all of us are normal eaters and that Anuruddha is the sole exception. This is because, unknown to everyone Anuruddha, in addition to being a unique thespian talent, is also part of a top secret food experiment, trying to answer a question that has mystified scholars and pundits for centuries.

"How much food can a man eat?" We are proud of Anuruddha's untiring efforts and wish him well in his effort to answer this, the most baffling of questions. Whilst being supportive of his landmark efforts, the rest of the cast also wishes that he would stop eating their food all the time.

l Artistic integrity and social impact of the play - To those who have also inferred that our play is devoid of social impact and have questioned its' artistic integrity. we like to say that we have done extensive research into the costumes of the 19th century Renaissance and can assure all members of the public that as far as costuming goes this play has it all. Being actors of exceptional talent and skill (see note above) we know that costumes are everything. As for social impact, we are no Mother Theresas. We are here to entertain, plain and simple.

l Tickets and box plan being delayed - This is entirely the fault of the graphic designer. We had nothing to do with it. In fact, it was our timely intervention that made it possible for the tickets to be printed at all.

l Lack of artistic direction of the play - It must be pointed out that actors of exceptional talent and skill (see note above) such as ourselves, really do not need any kind of direction. The only reason we have Feroze (Kamardeen) as our artistic director is because he is the only one who knows the phone number of the Wendt.

l Inappropriate casting - This allegation was levelled at us some time ago. Our delay in responding has been due to the fact that none of us knew what inappropriate meant. We feel that if allegations are to be made they should be made using words in our vocabulary (this generally excludes words with more than 9 letters, 4 letter words preferred). Now knowing what inappropriate means, we are shocked and dismayed that actors of exceptional talent and skill (see note above) such as us, should be made to suffer thus. We have had enormous exposure to many international works of art, music, theatre and cinema. From our school-going days we have invested our time and effort inside many sleazy cinema halls gleaning this very valuable information. In fact we are so good that we could play any role from a Juliet to a Caliban, even without a costume or make-up change.

We are serious thespians and would request all members of the public to please go and buy tickets and then come to see the play. We are thankful to Alankara Jewellers for sponsoring us, to The Sunday Times, the Daily Mirror, YES FM and to the Haddai Label for their support. We will perform this month (that's June) on the 24, 25 and 26 at the Lionel Wendt Theatre. Box plan and tickets are at the theatre. Please come and see us, you never know you might even catch us on a day when we actually remember a couple of lines!

Yours in high-brow theatre, Signed
Anuruddha, Ifaz, Michael, Kisholi, Ryan and Marsh (The Cast)

Semage’s seven
By N.Dilshath Banu
Seven students of internationally recognized artist, Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage, will hold an exhibition of paintings titled Jaya Sisura 2005, from June 17-19 at the Lionel Wendt gallery.

The exhibition will feature the work of Dylan Perera, Srima Shanthilaka, Jaya Kapila Wickramasinghe, Upul Jayashantha, Kamani Perera, Kavinda Jayasekara and Sandya Priyadarshani.

Although seven artists are involved in the exhibition, only four of them were present to share their views of the exhibition with The Sunday Times. Among them was Sandya, a newcomer to the art class who is painting again after a long break. For Kamani Perera art is like meditation. "I paint when I feel like doing so and when I do so my brush relaxes my mind and helps me concentrate," she said.

Jaya Kapila who works as the assistant production manager of Don & Don (Pvt) Ltd., is an active member of the Young Zoologists' Association and has taken part in many exhibitions mainly on wild life and nature. But this exhibition he says is differen. "I like Kalasuri Semage's art as it portrays indigenous structures. His approach to art is unique," says Kapila.

Semage says that though he's promoting traditional art, he makes sure he teaches every student the basics of art and its traditions. "Later on, they can create and improve their own style," he said.

Blowing the blues, raga and tango
Sri Lanka will see one of the most celebrated Swiss musicians in recent years, Roland van Straaten, blues harp player, perform in collaboration with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka as well as Glen Terry and company. Drawing from the musical pool of both nations, this cross-cultural experiment promises to appeal to all lovers of music.

Roland van Straaten is a gifted player of the harmonica or the blues harp as it is also known. In his hands the instrument has been transformed and he has developed new playing techniques and experimented with variations of the instrument to free himself from its more conventional sounds and styles. The blues was the starting point for Straaten's love of Harmonica playing from where he carried on, inspired by the influences of the Indian raga and the Argentinean tango, to a whole new level of music.

Performing on the stages of Europe, the Middle East and the U.S, Roland is also a composer of some renown with numerous compositions for theatre, ballets, musicals, films and orchestras in his portfolio.

The first concert with the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka will be on June 17 at the Elphinstone Theatre. Tickets for the show are now available at Crescat City and the Hilton. The second concert with Glen Terry and his friends will be on June 19 at the Barefoot Café .

Cultural tribute to a master amidst a classical journey
The Annual Fete de la Musqiue 2005 on June 17 at the Galle Face Hotel Ballroom will include a tribute to Deshamanya Chitrasena and a cultural dance show presented by Ravibandu Vidyapathi along with a classical music concert by the French duo Stephanie Carpentier (violinist) and Frank Labiste (flutist) at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. respectively.

Invitations can be collected from Alliance Francaise de Colombo. A special award will be presented to Chitrasena for his lifetime achievements. Some of Sri Lanka’s best traditional dancers will pay tribute to him by presenting an exceptional cultural show orchestrated by Ravibandu Vidyapathi.

The French classical music duo with Stephanie Carpentier on the violin and Franck Labiste on the flute will perform works by Bach, Bizet and Paganini.

Back to Top  Back to Plus  

Copyright © 2001 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.