20th August,  2006  Volume 13, Issue 6

First with the news and free with its views                                     First with the news and free with its views                             First with the news and free with its views                                    


Mirroring nature

By Warren Balthazaar

The exhibition of wildlife and still life drawings by R. S. Gayan Wijay-athilaka, a professional artist, is out of this world.

A graphic designer and a specialist in landscapes and portraits, he spoke to The Sunday Leader on his paintings and his attraction to art.

A former student of C.W.W. Kannangara Vidyalaya at Borella, he discovered his aptitude towards art when he was 18 year-old.

He started with copy drawing and with his potential and grit he took up the challenge to draw and become a professional artist one day. He has done 200 oil canvas paintings and also sold many to buyers who have been spellbound, claiming 'it is as real as the real thing.'

Gayan went on to tell The Sunday Leader, "My art work brings out reality into what the subject and picture contains, it is eye catching and I want people to feel that they are witnessing the real thing by just looking at it." Yes indeed it is real, it is eye catching and very exquisite.

Gayan will soon be having his much awaited exhibition from August 18-20 at 3 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery.

It is also a chance for people to see his talent and speak to him on what drives him to draw what he does. He also told us that the paintings will be for sale and the prices of these pictures will be announced at the gallery on that day.

Talking to Gayan on what he most focuses on in his paintings, he told us that "the paintings are clearly based on subjects such as nature, wildlife and traditional art. I also draw portraits and anything that comes to my mind," he added.

This young lad has sold his paintings to many people, he has sold his paintings for prices such as Rs. 75,000 and the most expensive picture that he had sold has been for Rs. 100,000 and at just 24 years he is already scaling the heights of the art world.

Gayan is an extremely skilled artist who has the capacity to make a dull canvas come alive with colour. He has an amazing capacity to create breathtaking paintings of landscapes, which, no doubt, would give hours of happiness to any serious collector.

Talent is rare and here is a young man devoted to art who possesses it.

He went on to tell us: "I wish to thank my parents and supporters who helped and guided me to make my dream come true — with their help and concern this enormous task of preparing for an outstanding solo exhibition has been made easy."

He also said "with my trusty brush I depicted on canvas all my experiences on my journey through art, and will be made public for the first time."

Millennium personalities

There will come during some space of time, in the lives of all Sri Lankans great or small, quieter moments to hark back simply or with pride on their achievements and their contributions made to this island, which collectively or individually helped place their motherland on the world map.

Key Research and Information Limited, member of Ceylinco Consolidated announced their latest production the The Millennium Register Of Sri Lankan Personalities — 2006 which is a unique presentation on Sri Lankan achievers from wide and varied spheres of activity. Those listed in the register are Sri Lankans living here and abroad.

The Millennium Register of Sri Lankan Personalities — 2006 offers personal glimpses into over 1300 profiles of some of Sri Lanka’s foremost personalities- professionals, corporate heads, academics, celebrities, businessmen, industrialists, artistes, musicians, politicians, parliamentarians, service personnel, top government officials, and many more, together with a pick of Sri Lankans living abroad. This register contains a short description of their achievements together with their contact details and the current position they hold in their respective fields. The contents are a true reflection of Sri Lankan society at the dawn of the third millennium.

The Millennium Register of Sri Lankan Personalities — 2006 is a collector’s item and will also make an ideal gift that will enhance family bonds. It can be displayed with pride in any drawing room as an 'attention grabber' among visitors. Also this register is presented as a prestigious, hardbound, coffee table book that comes complete with a beautiful presentation slip.

Capturing the light of dawn

‘Arunalu,’ the light of dawn is the title of talented young artist, Upul Jayashantha’s maiden solo art exhibition.

A protégé of world renowned artist Kalasuri Jayasiri Semage, Upul’s paintings are something that people can identify with because the subject rialter is grounded.

Rather than following the 'Semage Style' he has developed an unique style of his own by fusing the ‘Semage Style’ with that of Indian art forms. Another feature that distinguishes his paintings from that of his guru is the attention to details, that he pays to his paintings.

Upul prefers the female form as his subject. "The female figure has a beautiful rhythm that can be captured on canvas with precision, he said.

Day to day life inspires him, as does his love for Indian dance, culture and jewellery. "The subjects in my paintings are captured in poses of day to day life and it is something that everyone can identify with," he said. His paintings concentrate on sober earth tones because it relaxes the eye and matches the style of the temple influence.

According to him when he starts painting he has no idea how it will end, but instead he says he is guided by the flow. "Some of my paintings are abstract, but not in the modern sense. My abstract paintings maintain their traditional flavour and that is the way I like it,: he says.

Contrary to what most people believe, art exhibitions are events that can be enjoyed by all, irrespective of their artistic knowledge. 'Arunalu' rather than being only an art exhibition is also a showcase of the beauty of daily life. Like television and newspapers, painting is another medium of expressing life and daily happenings.

This exhibition ‘Arunalu’ will open on August 25 at 6 p.m. at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery. Media Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa will be the chief guest at the occasion. The exhibition will open for the public on August 26 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

Winds of culture

It is often in times of trouble and tribulation that mankind awakens to the fact that what is today has been before and therefore this too will pass, if only we open our minds to the experiences of the past.

Today we live in a troubled country — a country that is seeking peace at all costs. A country that is in trouble because there seems to be an overwhelming feeling that we cannot live together with differences. That we cannot accept and cannot give. That we don’t have the virtues of patience and resilience. That the word impossible is more favoured than possible.

Like a breath of fresh air comes a book titled Winds Of Culture, written in a voice that rings true; that speaks from personal experience that moves us to believe in ourselves again; in our ability to live together; come through difficulty to learn to live with differences; and learn that patience begets achievement of even lofty goals under impossible circumstances. We learn that our minds if made up to positively encounter the rigors of life will not just succeed but will excel in all that we set out to do.

This book is about life, is about living, is about overcoming and about attaining a sense of fulfilment, here on earth. It is a narrative that is conversational and appealing because it talks to us to all of us; it unfolds right in front of our eyes visually taking us to places we know, meeting people we have met and experiences that we have undergone.

A book that is a must to read, an easy read and at the end of it all a lesson for all of us, for a country in turmoil.

Creativity in the dark

By Risidra Mendis

They have the talent to turn out the most simplest and plain products into beautiful ornaments and handicrafts. But what makes Manel Gunewardene and Charmani Hemac-handra popular among their students and friends is that the handcraft items they produce are unusual, creative and unique in design and style.

There is no limit to the imagination and creativity Gunewardene and Hemachandra have when it comes to creating a design by using threadwork, beadwork and glass painting among others.

Many of the handcrafted designs turned out by Gunewardene and Hemachandra cannot be bought at a sales outlet which makes their products that much more valuable and exceptional.

Gunewardene and Hemachandra together with their students and children from the Deaf and Blind School will hold an exhibition — 'Creations 2006' to give people the opportunity to see some of the handcrafted products.

"We hope to exhibit many new methods and designs at this exhibition. Our aim is to encourage people of all ages to take an interest in the art of handicraft and use their creativity to turn out unusual and attractive products," Gunewardene said. 'Creations 2006' will be held at the Art Gallery on August 19, 20 and 21 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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