Arts

16th May, 2004  Volume 10, Issue 44

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Music on canvas 

By  Risidra Mendis 

Painting is a form of art that can only be mastered by a few. But for those who master the art there is no turning back. Rahju, a painter of many forms of art, is no exception. Each set of Rahju's paintings varies in subject and form, thereby giving the viewer a different experience every time. 

Keeping in mind the need to take his viewers through a new experience in time, Rahju will hold yet another of his exhibitions titled 'Paintscapes.' According to the artiste, he calls these paintings paintscapes as they are scapes of nothing but paint itself.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader Rajhu said these could be called 'abstract' or non figurative paintings where there is nothing represented as an image to be read, but is 'there' in itself as a presence in the unity of the colours and the brushwork.

For those who have viewed and appreciated paintings done in the past by Rahju this is a clear sign that the painter has taken a different approach when painting these latest works of art.

His present work is clearly a departure from his earlier work that tended to be clearly figurative, though stylised, meditative or emotionally manipulated. Right up to his Monsoon Fields Rahju uses broad horizontal sweeps of the paddy fields as the barest frame on which to attach his brush strokes.

In his latest works of art Rahju has discarded the figurative element entirely and let the colours and strokes stand on their own. The paintings therefore take on the effect of another dimension, where all mental reference is bypassed and the receptive viewer is taken through a sensual visual experience.

"Removing the figure has also given me the freedom to use colour purely in emotional terms, rather than being descriptive and also allows me to go 'over the edge' and rely on pure intuition, emotion and immediate awareness, to guide me in the creating process, which then becomes very much one of a give and take between the canvass and myself," says Rahju. The paintscapes by Rahju are more akin to instrumental music, Indian music especially, in the sense that the music creates its effect, its substance, out of the sounds in themselves. The influence of music in Rahju's paintings comes from his longtime occupation in Eastern and Western stringed instruments as well as his meditative tendencies in life.

"This really is about emptying or by passing the mind, the thinking part that is, and going for a much deeper direct experience. This experience is a kind of emptiness, but an emptiness that has a fullness or a presence, that can be felt and known and still remain unknown and mysterious," explained Rahju.

Rahju's exhibition will be held at the Finomenal Space Gallery from May 16 to June 3. 


Hereditary stardom?

Is it genetics? Or background? Or a combination? Whichever it is, kids', particularly in the field of arts, taking after their parents professionally is no uncommon state of affairs. Some might say these children have it easy - not having to face many of the struggles that are inherent to those pursuing the arts. While they might certainly have that initial advantage, to make it to the top and stay there takes a whole lot more than just a family name. Shezna Shums, Dhananjani Silva and Shehan Moses probe some 'star kids' of 'star parents' in an attempt to get to the bottom of this phenomenon. 

"I followed in my mother's footsteps"

Ashanthi a well-known musician says she followed her mother's footsteps because she loved the field of music. According to Ashanthi, the musical environment in her family influenced her to be a career musician. "I  grew up in a musically influenced family that gave me the edge to take a career in the field of music," she said.

She does admit that when she was a kid her mother's talent influenced her. "When I was a kid I saw my mom getting actively involved in music and I used to observe her, this encouraged me to write and sing songs even when I was a kid and I always tried to help my mom in her songs, even though I was not actively involved in music then" said she. According to her, these factors helped her to be a career musician and got her where she is today.

 She says her parents encouraged her in every thing she did from a small age. "My parents encouraged and supported me in every thing I did because they believed what I did was correct, and it is my parents who really helped me to start a career in music," says Ashanthi.

At the moment she is working on her solo CD, which she expects to release during the month of August through Sony music. Her new CD will comprise of 10 songs, both in Sinhala and English and she believes this is a great achievement for a career in music.

 

Acting for the love of it

Sudaraka Jayasena, the son of popular Dramatist Henry Jayasena and actress Manel Jayasena, who started acting at the age of 19, in the Sinhala film Golu Hadawata, is of the same view as Ashanthi. He says he entered in to the field of acting because he loved it and not due to the influence of his parents. "I acted in few teledramas and my parents didn't influence me, though they encouraged me a lot. Even in my child hood I used to go for plays and dramas that gave me a liking to start a career in the field of music," says Sudaraka.

However, today this young talented man finds it difficult to continue his career in dramas. "It is difficult for me to go in to full time acting since I am employed in a bank and I need to balance acting and my job," he says. According to Sudaraka, in the field of acting a person needs to be in it full-time, and it is really difficult to be employed, especially in a bank when you are engaged in the acting. However, he feels if he has time he would certainly act in dramas, which he likes most. 

 

"Parental support made me who I am"

Meanwhile speaking to The Sunday Leader Narada Bakmeewewa, YATV presenter, noted that both, his mother and father were talented musicians and he was always involved with music even from his childhood.

"My parents gave me the support and strength to make me the way I am and face the world," later on society too had its effect, but it was my parents and family who brought out the best in me and I think that parents should always support and be there for their children," he stressed.

"As both my parents are artists I was taught by my father and mother not only about life but religion."

He further stressed that it is vital that parents support their children in order to bring out the best in them, and he is what he is today, because of the support and guidance of his family."

 

The freedom to decide

Similarly the famous musician Jayantha Ratnayake, son of the talented Victor Ratnayake was of the view that he took to the field due to his musical background at home as well as his childhood wishes. " I used to watch how the students play the instruments when my father was conducting music lessons at home. And even when there were no classes I went there and started playing the instruments and learnt to play the harmonium little by little. However, my father saw me playing the harmonium well and he wanted me to play the harmonium while he was conducting the lessons."

According to Jayantha, unlike now, it was no easy task for the up comers those days to enter the field. However, he believes that his mother being a dancing instructress and his father being a talented musician gave the strength needed to blossom in the musical field. "Anyway it was I who decided on my individual career and they gave me the freedom in deciding whether to become a musician or not."  

 

A childhood dream

Harsha Bullathsinhala the son of talented Lucian Bullathsinhala said that becoming an artiste was his childhood dream and it is the family environment, which helped in fulfilling his dreams. "Yes the talent was there within me by birth. But I could become a successful musician by learning all the formations such as sounds, visuals etc, due to family influence. I first entered into the arts field as a musician. Malani Bullathsinhala was my first teacher. I used to play the Sitar while my sister played the violin. From there onwards step by step I marched forward up to Visharadha exams. And I have acted in several teledramas such as Tharadevi, Singithi Kandulu and many more when I was a child."

He however says that his father's influence was the main reason for him to enter in to the field. " Now I take my own decisions without any interference from my family. I always do what I think is the best," he added. However, Harsha says, "If someone is talented in music, the person can definitely achieve success whether from an 'arty' family or not."

 

Fullest support and correct advice

Meanwhile Sajitha Anthony, the son of Jackson Anthony said that he too always dreamt of becoming an actor. "When I got this opportunity to act in the film Sooriya Arana my father told me to first read the script. However, appachchi plays the role of my father in the film too. This is my first film although I have acted in a German film before and he gave me the fullest support, by giving the correct advice at the correct time," he added.


Indu's Potta Harry at the Wendt

 Indu Dharmasena's latest comedy, Potta Harry is scheduled to go on the boards of the Lionel Wendt on May 21, 22 and 23. This comedy inspired by the world famous Harry Potter is a farcical fantasy that will keep the audience in fits of laughter. The first "Potter" is about the Philosopher's Stone. Potta Harry revolves around the Sorcerer's Balls.

Potta Harry thought he was an ordinary orphan until two cousins appear out of nowhere and informs him that he is a wizard and that he is from Voodoo. Since his late father had been the unanimously elected Governor of Voodoo, he is persuaded to return "home" to continue in his late father's footsteps.

His uncle from his father's side, Mr. Brown Sugar, the Chief Wizard of Interplanetary Affairs and his youngest aunt from his mother's side, Ms. Grey Cloud, the Chief Witch of Witches Affairs are fighting over him with the help of Rose Petals and Orange Peel.

Mr. Blue Sky, the Chief Wizard of Magical Finance, Mr. Green Peas, the Chief Wizard of Magical Power and Energy, Mr. Red Chili, the Chief Wizard of Fishing and Planting and Mr. Yellow Saffron, the Chief Wizard of Defense against the Dark Arts are also after him. Even her Enchanted Highness, Princess Purple Rain wants him.

With Ms. Tittle Tattle Headlines, the Chief Witch of Information, nosing around for "first hand information" and Mr. Arty Culture, the Chief Wizard of Cultural Magic obsessed with providing entertainment, and the vivacious Misty White warning him to return to Earth before it is too late, Harry discovers he maybe in mortal danger.

But are they after him or something they think he has in his possession? Where does the Sorcerer's Balls fit into all this? Make a date with Potta Harry and find out the answers.

The cast comprises of Angela Seneviratne, Krys Sosa, Catriona Nicholas, Mrinali Thalgodapitiya, Sanju Selvarajah, Keshanee Gunawardena, Shimmee Shameem, Indu Dharmasena, Dayan Dias Abeyegunawardene, Gehan Cooray, George Cook, Purajitha Taldena, Lasantha Rodrigo and Asela Dassanayake.


Moods of the forest 

Artiste Wasantha Kumara is a man with many creative ideas. Taking into account the wonders of nature and its value to mankind, Kumara will this year hold his 16th exhibition on the subject of moods of forests and its tranquility.

Paintings exhibited at this exhibition will be based on the theme of forests, waterfalls, ponds, and how man can make use of these natural resources to bring calm and tranquility in to his life.  

"Today the wonders of nature are being gradually destroyed by humans. I have always been a lover of nature and therefore feel that the public should be made aware of how important it is to protect our environment for future generations," explained Kumara. His exhibition will be held at the Public Library Auditorium on May 22, 23 and 24.


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