Capturing the colours of life
By Ranee Mohamed
How many paintings do we have in our
mind – how many beautiful things have come our way but
have been erased with time from the canvas of life?
But Dayan Kotachchi is working against
time. "I want to capture all the beautiful things in
life – the landscapes, the happenings, the scenery, the
wildlife. I will not let them slip away without being
captured," says this great artist who also works as an
"My paintings are about Sri Lankan
life," he says as he points out to the most touching
creation that colour can ever portray. And in those
strokes are not only colour, people and animals, but
also feelings of the subjects on canvas. The nostalgia
of a sunset, the rise and shine of a sunrise, the
quietness of a landscape are all there to be immersed
Paintings have been a way of life for
Dayan Kotachchi. His mother inspired him with her great
artistic talent and now his wife colours his life with
her talent. Kotachchi is preparing for an exhibition on
September 11. "The opening will be on September 11 at
the Lionel Wendt and will go on till the 14th, he said
speaking about Sankalana II which will be a
presentation of mixed themes by Kotachchi.
"Art must be given its due place," he
said with a sigh. "Today many people are immersed with
learning music and dancing that few people have given
art the place it deserves.
"I hope to kindle and to inspire parents
to encourage children to learn art," said Kotachchi and
his paintings make one wonder why we did not look deeper
into art. Why have we not let art colour our lives and
the lives of our children.
A painting is for all times and can
capture the moment for a lifetime. And this is what
Dayan Kotachchi has done with his exceptional talent and
"I have great faith in art. I know how
it can change lives – it can bring happiness where gloom
dwells, it can bring back memories which time and
forgetfulness have clouded," said Kotachchi.
Dayan Kotachchi’s first exhibition was
held in July 2005 where over 35 paintings created solely
by Kotachchi were exhibited. "Yes there was a great
demand for them, but it is the fact that my creations
will be admired, wondered at and more importantly, the
feelings it will colour the human heart and mind that
encourages me," said Kotachchi.
"I work with oil and have no fears about
it. Some artists think that our scenery cannot be quite
captured with the oil medium but my creations with oil
paintings show our scenery, wildlife and landscapes in a
way that places them in the zone of reality," said
"We must not let art be wiped out from
our lives. We must show our next generation how
important art is. I am keen to impart my knowledge to
the young and old because I do not want this colourful
side of life blackened with modern day fads," said a
Dayan Kotachchi believes that life is a
duty – and in his colourful tour of duty – he wants to
add a touch of colour to all those who lean towards the
Students taking part in the show
(inset) Peshali Yapa
A drummer, a cook, a flying car and the
witches of the West are meeting up at the Lionel Wendt
to tell their tales, sing their songs and share their
Today, September 6 at 7.30 p.m., Peshali
Yapa brings together her choirs Coro CantAmici and the
Piccolinis to give you a refreshing taste of music that
spans generations and transcends time.
Peshali has made a name for herself as a
mezzo soprano in the sphere of classical music. She also
trains gifted singers whose ages range from 6 to 60
years. This is her first venture into choral direction,
to give her students the experience of singing in an
ensemble and choral setting and this show promises
variety in the form of distinctive songs rarely
performed on stage.
The programme includes folk songs,
gospel numbers and hits from the last four decades.
The storm breaks this week!
Writer/Director Jehan Aloysius claims
he’s in the midst of murder and conspiracy these days!
His neighbours have reportedly heard very suspicious
screams and scuffles from his apartment, while others
have even witnessed enraged actors brandishing carving
knifes. Aloysius confesses that all these suspicious
activities are due to rehearsals for his much awaited
play, Stormy Weather, which takes Colombo by
storm this month from the 10th to the 13th
at the Punchi Theatre, Borella.
Stormy Weather is a novel murder
thriller, presented by CentreStage Productions, and
features both live action as well as filmed scenes.
Written and directed by Jehan Aloysius, this unique
production is to be presented as a black and white
movie, set in the early 1950s world of film noir.
The cast has now completed shooting at the locations for
the film scenes, which have been edited over the last
few weeks by Video Image and Jehan.
The producers inform us that the newly
refurbished Punchi Theatre, where the show premieres,
now boasts a silver screen, surround-sound system as
well as tiered seating, making it the perfect venue.
Indeed, Stormy Weather is bound to be a bold and
unique theatre experience for those who enjoy
The plot revolves around the shocking
murder of Noel Richards and the subsequent investigation
by a rather unorthodox and nameless inspector. The show
plays on stereotypes of the film noir genre,
through characters, scenes and mood, while also
including a generous dose of suspense, mystery and
occasional horror. It’s worth noting that the play was
included in Jehan’s collection of plays titled The
Screaming Mind, which was shortlisted for the
Gratiaen Prize for literature in 2000, and has also been
studied by university students.
The star cast of English theatre
personalities includes Shanuki De Alwis, Dilrukshi
Fonseka, Michelle Herft, Mario de Soyza, Amesh de Silva
and Zahabiya Adamaly. The period costumes have been
stitched by Hilma Salahudeen, while Video Image is the
official film partner handling the cinematography.
Channel 1 MTV and YES FM are the electronic media
Don’t miss the compelling Stormy
Weather from September 10 - 13 at the Namel Malini
Punchi Theatre. The box office is now open at the
theatre. Seating at the newly refurbished theatre will
be limited to under 200 seats per night, so purchase
your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Photo by Shehal Joseph
Television series about American city
By Michael Hardy
Last year, when a friend told me that
The Wire was the greatest American television
series, I scoffed. What about The Sopranos?
The Simpsons? Seinfeld? Then I decided to
watch the first season, and realised that my friend was
wrong. The Wire is not just the greatest TV
series, but one of the greatest American works of art in
any medium. Created by former crime reporter David
Simon, the show is about drug dealers, longshoremen,
policemen, teachers, politicians, and journalists in the
city of Baltimore, which is about an hour’s drive north
of Washington, D.C.
Although it was one of the country’s
wealthiest cities in the 19th century, de-industrialisation
and white flight in the 1970s reduced Baltimore to a
shell of its former grandeur. With a shockingly high
murder rate, crumbling infrastructure, pervasive
corruption, and ubiquitous drug use, it’s more third
world than first world — more Johannesburg than New
York. Politicians steal, cheat, and lie to stay in
office. Teenagers peddle heroin and crack on street
corners. Policemen harass and intimidate the people
they’re supposed to protect (sound familiar?).
Yet The Wire doesn’t divide
people into heroes and villains, and it’s more
interested in understanding Baltimore than condemning
it. Most of the main characters are sympathetic, but are
trapped in institutions — the police force, the
government, a drug gang — that frustrate their best
intentions. The series shows how these institutions
operate according to their own structural logic, proving
stubbornly resistant to change. Time after time, an
idealistic character attempts to challenge the system
and ends up disillusioned or dead. The show’s tagline
could be "Plus ça change...".
Each 12-episode season focuses on a
different institution. The first season probes the inner
workings of a drug cartel, the second centers on the
city’s ports, the third follows a politician’s run for
office, the fourth examines the dysfunctional school
system, and the fifth looks into the local newspapers.
The Wire’s narratives each take
up a full season, giving the show novelistic breadth.
We’re introduced to the characters slowly, and, just
when we have them figured out, they surprise us by doing
the unexpected. Fortunately, the most memorable
characters — McNulty, the alcoholic detective, Omar, the
renegade thief, Clay, the gleefully crooked state
senator — return every season, and after 60 hours of
their company we know them as well as we do Anna
Karenina or Leopold Bloom.
Although few people outside of America
have heard of it, The Wire is one of the best
introductions to my country. It shows the dark, dank
underside of the American dream, the side you won’t
often see at the cinema or in fashion magazines. In
their own attempts at economic recovery, Sri Lankans
might be able to learn from Baltimore’s example.
Clarence unplugged with Marians
Following the success of the first ever
unplugged concert featuring the music of the late legend
Clarence Wijewardene — Clarence Unplugged With Nalin
And The Marians in May last year yet another show
would come alive on Sunday, September 13 at the BMICH
starting from 7pm.
From the start to the end the audience
would be entertained with a unique presentation totally
unplugged by the Marians while more than 30 popular hits
of Clarence would be sung according to Damayantha
Kuruppu of DK Promotions.
"All popular hits of Clarence from
Meniyane to Gamen Liyumak, Malata Bambarekuse,
Sandak Besagiya etc; would be sung at the concert as
there is a great demand for the legend’s songs following
last year’s unplugged show," Damayantha told The
St. Theresa’s Church Kelaniya in
association with DK Promotions would present the show
and the proceeds will be in aid of the church
DK Promotions presented the first ever
Clarence Unplugged With Marians in May last year
which was a sell-out and request all Clarence’s fans to
be present on the 13th to make the event a success.
This is an event where the entire family
could enjoy a few hours of solid entertainment to listen
to the golden oldies of the legend Clarence Wijewardene
by the Marians with versatile Nalin Perera.
DK Promotions is also planning to
release the DVD recording of the first Clarence
Unplugged show to coincide with the second show.
Tickets are available at Torana Liberty Plaza and
Publications (Pvt) Ltd.
24, Katukurunduwatte Road, Ratmalana Sri
Tel : +94-72-47218,9 Fax : +94-7247222