Art: Tradition and modernism
Arts presents an
exhibition of a group of artists from India and abroad,
established within the Bharatha Shakti Charitable Trust, India.
The drive behind this exhibition is
Indian culture. This is a theme as broad as its ancient culture.
The artists have used a variety of media to capture this spirit,
depicting myriad scenes and images of India.
They offer a unique glimpse of India's
timeless heritage, that mystical, intangible essence that has
fascinated the world for many centuries, and also depict the winds
of change sweeping through the more contemporary aspects of its
culture. Cross cultural understanding between India and Sri Lanka
is one of the main objectives of this exhibition.
"Being India's closest neighbour
we thought it most appropriate to share the first glimpse of the
current exhibition here in Sri Lanka, before proceeding to the UK,
France and Ireland." artists Ramakrishna and Klaus Duffy
Their main aim is to spread the value
of art education throughout India and her neighbours. They also
plan to make art classes part of the national syllabus in all
schools throughout India.
"Our immediate goal is to build an
art school within our existing school; we strongly believe that we
can make this possible. We intend starting art classes for
children of all ages. For those who are interested and talented,
we will provide further training, that they may become self
sufficient and receive ongoing employment in the fields of arts
and crafts. The total proceeds of this exhibition will go towards
the building of this art school," the artists said.
The Bharatha Shakti Trust has provided
free education, healthcare, food and accommodation for up to 1000
students for the last 10 years. They have already started art
classes for children in their free time and during their holidays.
The current exhibition features artists
from abroad who have lived and worked in India as well as talented
artists from India who have completed their training at the
Pondicherry School of Arts.
The exhibition will be held from July
19-31, at 6/3, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7 from 9 am to 9 pm, and
would be a good opportunity for Sri Lankans to view and own works
by established and talented younger artists.
of Benedictine Memoirs
St. Benedict's College, Kotahena, the oldest Catholic school in
Colombo officially celebrates 140 years this year. To commemorate
the occasion, the College will release Benedictine Memoirs, a book
comprising 140 accounts penned by its old boys. A first of its
kind. The book is edited by Neil DeVotta, assistant professor of
political science at Hartwick College, New York.
St. Benedict's College
boasts old boys' associations in London, Melbourne, New York,
Sydney, Toronto, Vancouver, and it therefore does not surprise
that exactly half the memoirs have been authored by old
Benedictines domiciled abroad permanently. Printed by JF&I
Printers, the book is sponsored by the St. Benedict's College
Development Fund, with all proceeds going towards the St.
Benedict's College English Education Fund. The book is dedicated
to the Brothers of the Lasallian Order who have laboured in Sri
Lanka and especially at St. Benedict's College.
The book has sought to include
Benedictines from all walks of life (actors, architects, authors,
businessmen, clergymen, doctors, educators, engineers,
journalists, lawyers, military personnel, politicians, professors,
publishers, scientists, sportsmen, and professionals of various
trades), although some of the more recognisable names among
contemporary Sri Lankans Include Venerable Narada Maha
Thero,Vidyajyothi Viswa- prasadini Dr. A. N. S. Kulasinghe, Dr. A.
W. R. Joachim, E. C. B. Wijesinghe, Horace Perera, Ravindra
Randeniya, Ranjit Fernando, Fr. Felician Perera, and Lasantha
This is ultimately, a book celebrating
the mission and ethos of St. Benedict's College. As such it
represents a legacy and an appreciation of one of the island's
leading educational establishments through the words of its former
students. This then is the story of those once young boys who
document candidly their upbringing, education, Catholic heritage,
loyalty, pranks, disciplining, exploits, excellence, and
frustrations. Not only is the book revolutionary in its concept,
but it also tabulates a rich oral history unlike anything hitherto
documented in Sri Lanka (and perhaps even the world). Benedictine
Memoirs thus represents a unique contribution to Sri Lanka's
literature even as it is a paean to the institution that is St.
Professor Neil DeVotta will present the first copy of the book to the St. Benedict's College
Director, Rev. Bro. Granville Perera, during the College Prize
Giving on July 29.
Numbering over 400 pages, the book is
published in hard cover with a handsome jacket that captures
appropriately the historicity of the school. It is priced locally
at Rs.1,500. Those interested in obtaining copies of the book
should call the St. Benedict's College Director's office on
2431025, Felix Dias on 2693250, Ravi Irugalbandara on 0714272444,
or Anton Carvalho on 2459303.
Soprano Eriko at Young Soloists' Concert
The 48th season of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka will
open with its popular Young Soloists' Concert on Saturday,
July 23. Namali Fernando will be the cello soloist in
Schumann's Cello Concerto. Anusha Alles will be the pianist in
Concerto in G minor. And Eriko Perera, soprano, will sing arias
and songs by Haydn, Puccini, Johann Strauss II and Richard
Eriko's programme is delightfully
tuneful. Her first aria will be Haydn's joyful With Verdure Clad
which celebrates the new life and greening that the Spring season
brings. This is to be followed by one of Puccini's most popular
love songs O Mio Babbino Caro from his one act opera Gianni
Schicchi. Richard Rodgers' If I Loved You from his show - Carousel
follows. In this, Julie,a young mill worker, sings of the growing
attraction she feels for Billy the carousel barker. Eriko will
close with The Laughing Song from Johann Strauss II's operetta Die
Fledermaus, music of Vienna at its most lighthearted.
Eriko started singing in her native
Japan at the age of 10. She received several prizes as a student
soloist including the Silver in the Sanyo Music Competition. On
exchange at high school in Illinois, USA, she took the role of
'Peppermint Patti' in the musical Peanuts. At university in Kobe
she broadened her repertoire from Western classical to include
jazz and Japanese traditional folk song.
After settling in Sri Lanka Eriko began
her studies with Menaka Sahabandu. She performs regularly
in Colombo, and also
sings to entertain affected people in refugee camps in the
The Young Soloists' Concert conducted
by Ajit Abeysekera will commence with Beethoven's dramatic 'Coriolan'
overture. HSBC is the sponsor. It will commence at 7 pm at Ladies'
College Hall. Tickets are available at Titus Stores, Liberty Plaza
and from the SOSL office.
recital by Eshantha Peiris
Evening Of Brahms, a piano recital by Eshantha Peiris, will be
presented at the Lionel Wendt Theatre on July 6, at 7.15 pm.
A winner of the Symphony Orchestra of
Sri Lanka's Concerto Competition in 2000, 19-year-old Eshantha is
currently completing his final year in a Bachelor of Music degree
at New York University. He grew up studying piano with Ramya de
Livera Perera and violin with Anande Dabare, and has appeared on
two occasions as a piano soloist with the symphony orchestra. In
addition to accompanying the St. Joseph's College Choir and
playing the organ at All Saint's Church, Borella, he was a founder
member and keyboardist of the rock band 'Noitrotsid'. He also
holds a Diploma in Piano Performance from the Associated Board of
the Royal Schools of Music. Eshantha currently studies classical
piano with Eduardus Halim, composition with Marc-Antonio Consoli,
and jazz with Rich Shemaria at NYU.
This all-Brahms programme includes the
notorious Variations On A Theme by Paganini and the youthfully
passionate Sonata In F Minor and promises to be a treat for all
lovers of Western classical music. Tickets are available at the
Lionel Wendt box office.
Lakshman de Silva
Going past the Nawaloka Hospital in Slave Island I saw a sign board
right opposite the hospital which was a bookshop. Interested.. I
There were new and used books all over
the place, all nicely arranged. These books were not only for sale
but also for lending and exchange. In the racks were novels both
new and old, and also books on literature, history, philosophy,
religion and on various other subjects.
The name of the bookshop owner was P.
H. P. Dawood. But he said he was known to people as Deen, that
being his pet name. He said that from the age of 15, for eight
years he had been working for
Peter, who had a bookshop at D. R. Wijewardana Mawatha.
He said that after collecting books
from various places, he had started his own bookshop under the
name of Priyankara Bookshop also at D. R. Wijewardana Mawatha. He
had this bookshop for 23 years, before moving to Slave Island last
So as I stood there inside the bookshop
I glanced at them under the titles they were named. For literature
there were books on Shakespeare, G. B. Shaw, Gustave Tlavbert,
Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Marie Correlli
Jawarhalal Nehru, Boris Pasternak and many others including books
on poetry and prose by famous poets.
In the lending library there were about
500 books, some of women's favourites including Mills and Boons
There were also books by Danielle
Steele, Sydney Sheldon, John Grisham, David Baldacci, Mario Puzo
and many others including some rare old publications such as by
Leslie Charteris, Peter Cheyney, Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha
Christie and also there was a good collection of old westerns.
These westerns were favourites of readers in the '50s and the
'60s. Even today mainly among eleders there are those who continue
the habit from their young days and read westerns.
I asked Deen how is the business
getting on in this new book shop in Slave Island. He said that as
he is residing in Slave Island it is very convenient to him and
that he can open the shop at 7.30 am to offer a better service to
customers including school children and office goers. He closes
the shop at 8.30 pm.
At this time when Deen was speaking to
me, a customer came in search of a nursery school book, who said
he was from Wekande. He appeared to be in a hurry, but was happy
that he got the book that he wanted. There were others too who
were eagerly going through books. I also noticed there were
Sinhala novels as well.
Deen also told me that as Slave Island
did not have a bookshop which catered to school children as well,
his neighbours were happy with this conveniently located bookshop.