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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
all ye-We’re serious thespians!
Clearing the air - The Elizabeth actors speak
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
in high-brow theatre, Signed
Anuruddha, Ifaz, Michael, Kisholi, Ryan and Marsh (The Cast)
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
exhibition will feature the work of Dylan Perera, Srima Shanthilaka,
Jaya Kapila Wickramasinghe, Upul Jayashantha, Kamani Perera, Kavinda
Jayasekara and Sandya Priyadarshani.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
French classical music duo with Stephanie Carpentier on the violin
and Franck Labiste on the flute will perform works by Bach, Bizet