Saying it in black and white: Scenes from the past

By Dhananjani Silva

While the most anticipated literary festival of the year is set to take off in Galle next week, No. 53 Leyn Baan Street and the Sudharmalaya Buddhist Temple in Galle Fort will be the venues for yet another event of creative expressions.

An artist whose interest lies in figurative arts, portraits and landscapes using charcoal, soft pastels, acrylic and colour pencils, Jayantha Silva will hold his next exhibition, ‘Expressions in Galle Fort, A Collection of Art by Jayantha Silva’ at Leyn Baan Street and Sudharmalaya Buddhist Temple in Galle Fort from January 27-30 to coincide with the Galle Literary Festival.

Jayantha will be joined by other young emerging artists who will display their paintings and sculptures. He says there is not much recognition for visual arts in Sri Lanka and for this reason he decided to get some of the talented young artists also involved to encourage them. The exhibition will display about 70- 80 paintings and sculptures. Among Jayantha’s paintings will be a collection of charcoal drawings depicting sites in Galle, various locations in Colombo such as Chatham Street and Cotta Road a century ago.

Jayantha has held a number of art exhibitions in the past few years with two successful exhibitions in Australia and India. Though he did not take up painting fulltime after he left school as he thought there was little scope for an artist, he opted for the second best choice – commercial art but with time he realised that the painter in him had not died. Having revived his interest some 20 years ago Jayantha’s first art exhibition in 2003 at the Lionel Wendt was a success with several of his paintings being snapped up.

“I decided to hold exhibitions regularly thereafter,” he said. With plans to display his paintings at Fashion Optic Gallery at Flower Road, Jayantha also says that if the upcoming exhibition in Galle is a success, he will have his paintings on permanent display at Leyn Baan Street.

‘Expressions in Galle Fort’ will be open to the public free of charge.

Vivid and abstract, a journey with Asif

The works of photographer Asif Jiffry who has made a name for himself with his unique style in capturing moments and objects, blending vivid imagery with an abstract flavour will be exhibited at the Pedlar’s Inn Gallery during the Galle Literary Festival at the Dutch Fort in Galle from January 27 - 31.
Asif’s passion for travel and photography has merged together, resulting in a wide array of images from all parts of the world.

Whether it’s a candid moment of spiritual respect, a walk through the corridors of an ancient palace, the colourful contrast of tropical fruits frozen in time, an abstract of the famous Sandakada Pahana, an ancient Buddhist temple, the hard labour of a street vendor, a walk through the busy streets of Istanbul and romantic narrow streets of Europe, each of these images has a story to tell.

In addition to the photographs, it is the framing that makes the exhibition even more tempting.
Encapsulating these works of art are antique frames made out of window frames over 100 years old, out of railway sleepers from the colonial era and modern solid wood, all handmade by skilled carpenters.

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