ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 27

Odd things and throw-aways make art

By Esther Williams

Original, creative and unexpected describe the artwork of the students of Noeline Fernando. At an exhibition of Children’s Art and Creative Craft to be held at the National Art Gallery from December 9-12, the young artists will display an astonishing array of paintings, masks, installations, sculptures and pottery.

The focus on this year’s exhibition, however is the pop-up pictures. Rigifoam, paper, beads, feathers and glue have given the images of paddy fields, dancing girls, underwater world and other everyday scenes the three dimensional effect. “They look alive because they are popping up,” Noeline says, pointing to Chaithri Jayasooriya’s imaginative snake.

The younger students’ offerings of masks made of balloons using odd pieces for eyes, hair, nose and tongue are a delight, as are the giraffes and dogs made of papier mache. For the first time, the older students will display biscuit fired pottery items.

Students such as Emanthi Peter (13) have shown that there is no limit to art. She and other teenagers have used mirrors and sequins for fashion pictures. As for the life size model’s dress created by Shari and Ashwini, the installation was inspired by their teacher’s former work. Made of tissue paper, wire, ribbons and mesh, the figurine has been enhanced with jewellery.

Other creations that need mention are Shari’s intricate Wayang Kulit, a Malaysian art form used for shadow puppetry and Iman Rahim’s highly innovative piece. They have been assisted by their teachers and interior decorator Ashani Goonewardene.

There is a strong emphasis on craft in Noeline’s classes. Students are provided with numerous varieties of throw away items and odd pieces and encouraged to create. By doing so she tries to mould and direct them in the right direction, to experiment and discover new things. “Art is a discovery – for we never know what they can turn out,” she adds.

The school has recently acquired a kick wheel for pottery. By offering them various media, new avenues are opened to children to create work of art. “Rather than restrict them to painting and traditional methods, children get familiar with all sorts of things to make art,” Noeline explains adding “the same can apply to our lives – we can integrate with various people to make our lives meaningful and rich”.

All children love painting, she says, although all do not take to it. “When they finish a painting they feel satisfied – similar to the feeling one gets after a dessert,” she smiles. “All blossom in their own way as they all have lots of potential.” Over 300 items created by 82 students will be on display.

Top to the page

Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.