ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 32

For the first time, art under the gavel

By Ayesha Inoon

Think “art auction” and world-famous auction houses such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s come to mind. But Sri Lanka will have its very first art auction, where exquisite works of contemporary art will go under the gavel at the Cinnamon Grand in Colombo on January 14.

Presented by IDOL Minds, a subsidiary of C.S. Holdings Ceylon Ltd., ‘ARTsake – May we indulge your taste for art?’ will display the award-winning works of a talented local artist, whose identity is to be revealed only on the day of the auction.

“An art auction is a new concept in Sri Lanka,” says Charith Perera, Managing Director/CEO of C.S. Holdings explaining that apart from giving an opportunity for connoisseurs of art to indulge in their taste for unique creations, the event will also promote local talent. Part of the proceeds from the auction is to be donated to charitable causes such as helping war, tsunami and landmine victims.

Recent trends in the international art industry have shown an increasing interest in contemporary art. In Europe, he says, an art auction is a social activity, an opportunity for cultured and intellectual individuals to appreciate and accumulate artistic works. Conducted like any typical auction, it is considered the best way to get optimum value for a rare and priceless work of art. In Sri Lanka, however, such events have been limited so far to art exhibitions or sales. By presenting this art auction they hope to inspire a genuine interest in art as something to be appreciated and desired, as well as introduce such aesthetic activities to society.

The artist, whose works will be up for bidding, has been awarded the Presidential Award in 2005 as well as an international patent for his work. His murals for which he uses powdered stones, including granite and other coloured underground stones as materials - are depictions of Sri Lanka’s rich cultural and natural heritage. They cannot be called typical paintings, says Mr. Perera, but are rather unique pieces of art. The auction will present about 50 of these works.

“IDOL Minds is an event management company, but not in the usual sense. We come up with our own concepts – events that have never been done before in the country – and put them together by finding the right people.” says Mr. Perera, explaining the motivation behind ‘ARTsake’.

Based on the success of the auction, they hope to turn it into an annual event, bringing in new ideas such as jewellery auctions.

The auction from 6 p.m. onwards will be held at the Cinnamon Grand Atrium, with viewing taking place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. It is expected to attract over 200 visitors.

The official auctioneers will be Schokman & Samerawickreme, renowned for their expertise in the field while the official media sponsors are The Sunday Times, the Daily Mirror, ART TV and Light 89.2 FM. Tickets are available at the Cinnamon Grand and SoftWave Gallery.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.