Local Art For $ 10,000
The second edition of the Colombo Art Biennale (CAB) which concludes today had local paintings and works of art priced at between Rs.40,000 to US$ 10,000 and that of foreign works at Euro 30,000 and even beyond.
Of the local artists, there were works from those from the North and East, including from women from those areas displayed at the show. Ms. Annoushka Hempel, one of two founders of CAB told this reporter that the festival spread over three “galleries” in Colombo, give opportunities to local artists to display their works.
Hempel, an English woman and an art historian has made Sri Lanka her home. She said that the profits from the proceeds will be shared between CAB and the artists.
The selections which were made after a screening (unlike Kala Pola which allows anyone to display their works regardless of whether the standards are “high” or “low”) were displayed in the festival which had as its theme “Becoming,” complementing the theme of the inaugural CAB held soon after the terrorist war end in September 2009 which was “Imagining Peace.”
Hempel said that the first edition was successful with the buyers being a mix of local and foreign. These works are mainly collector items, she said.
One of the features of this show was a video recording of a hamlet in Horana during the period 1978-80 which had a dancing school, where, apparently those from the lower castes only used to enrol, with the exception of one boy who belonged to the “higher” Govigama caste, who was also a student of that school.
The audio-video clippings screened at the show included that of the boy being then interviewed, simultaneously inter-phased with the boy, now grown up to be a man, also being caught up in a subsequent interview. The earlier filmings were done by an Australian woman anthropologist which was continued by her son Aaron Burton who was also present at the festival.