Manipulating art and given notions

By Smriti Daniel

Artist Sujeewa Kumari Weerasinghe devoted her residency at the Wolverhampton Art Gallery, UK to exploring her response to the conflict and what it meant to her to be a woman living in Sri Lanka at this point in our history.

The artist, who has dabbled in performance art, says she exhibited a series of photographs taken during one such performance in the Gampaha train station. The woman in the image, silent and alone, is her.

She titled the series, ‘Living Sculpture’ and they include images that have been digitally manipulated. Sujeewa’s work contests given notions of ethnicity, gender, class and nation in Sri Lanka. She works across a number of mediums including photography, video, performance, drawing and painting and has exhibited both in her homeland and in the Netherlands.

This month-long residency was a part of a wider project called ‘Between Kismet and Karma: South Asian Women Artists Respond to Conflict' that showcased the creative responses of South Asian women artists to environmental, political and gender-based conflict.

The programme was conceived through a curatorial partnership between Shisha, the international agency for contemporary South Asian crafts and visual arts and the University of Leeds, supported by an AHRC Knowledge Transfer Fellowship.

Sujeewa lives and works in Colombo. She holds a BFA from the Institute of Aesthetic Studies at the University of Kelaniya and a MFA in fine arts from the Dutch Art Institute in the Netherlands.

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