Charcoal as a medium of art

By David Stephens

Conventional artists often utilize standard artistic tools like pencils or brushes when creating a drawing or painting. However the re exists a further category comprising a select few, who do not limit their creativity and artistic ability to these common instruments.

Fourteen such artists from the Vibhavi Academy of the Fine Arts (VAL) have come together to hold an exhibition titled ‘Anguru’, which will consist entirely of charcoal drawings.

Shanaka Kulathunge, one of the artists whose work will be featured at the exhibition, says that the idea to stage an event such as this was the direct result of a three day workshop held at their academy.

“In October a lecturer at our Academy, Kingsley Gunathilake, spoke to us about the use of charcoal as a medium of art.

He was the one that really motivated us to hold such an exhibition and constantly supported us in our efforts,” Shanaka reveals adding that he and the other artists started their drawings at the academy and continued working on them at home.

The exhibition was initially planned to be held at the academy itself but owing to the unpredictable weather conditions it was moved to the Lionel Wendt gallery.

Speaking about the exhibition, Mr. Gunathilake said that besides it being unique it also served to greatly shift the artistic perspective of his young charges.

“The main focus of the exhibition was to experiment on charcoal and produce a set of charcoal drawings. Here charcoal is experimented with in many different methods and mediums. However this was a novel experience for all the participants.

Along with the usage of the new medium they started observing the human figure in a very different manner,” he says. ‘Anguru’ will be held at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery on July 2 at 5.30pm and will remain open until July 4.

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