anomaAnoma Wijewardene answers the door in a paint splattered top. Her lovely home, with its long, open rooms and beautiful garden is obviously her haven, hidden in plain sight in the middle of the bustling city. High walls keep the sound of traffic out and the white living room is so airy that a bird wings through while we’re still talking.

This is the quiet before the storm, only the constant ringing of her phone an indication that things aren’t as relaxed as they seem. Anoma is bracing herself for the busiest of times – her first major solo exhibition in Sri Lanka since ‘Quest’ in 2006. Sprawling across multiple venues, ‘Deliverance’ which will feature the artist’s usual jubilant mix of media - paintings, photography and sculpture - is also built around a theme, this one environmental.

A truly international artist, Anoma has exhibited widely. She has debuted solo collections at Stella Downer Gallery Sydney, Galerie Taksu Kuala Lumpur, One&Only Maldives and Art Heritage New Delhi as well as at Paradise Road Galleries and Barefoot Gallery in Sri Lanka. Her latest is intended to raise awareness of a subject that Anoma seems to feel deeply - and increasingly desperately - about. A hint can be found in the exhibition dates themselves – picked to coincide with the Earth Summit in Rio.

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z_p22-Warring-02A first glance at his works gives an immediate political idea. The paintings are completely based on symbolism. While he makes no secret of his views on the local political and social environment, the strong presence of symbolism in his work presents a relevance to Buddhism and ancestry.

Rohan Amarasinghe exhibited his recent collection of paintings at Saskia Fernando Gallery in Colombo. The exhibition, titled ‘Life’, emphasized different aspects of humans in life. The paintings are comprehensive.

On one canvas, the image of grey skull immediately implies death. A candy pink-painted canvas, white lotuses and a butterfly flying overhead contrast this symbol. It is this relationship among symbols, suggesting the subjects of life and death that embody Amarasinghe’s oeuvre.

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z_p16-Unique-01Music lovers in Sri Lanka are in for a rare musical treat as Sewalanka Foundation together with Concerts Norway, Aru Sri Art Theatre and the Norwegian Embassy present ‘RUSTIC SOUNDS’, a series of concerts by Norway’s premier harmony group Lucky 3 featuring Nils Christian Fossdal, Mattis Myrland and Hans Martin Austestad.

The trio will perform in collaboration with Sri Lanka’s own Soul Sounds (directed by Soundarie David Rodrigo) at the British School Auditorium in Colombo on June 8 at 7 pm.

The concert will be a unique experience with a blend of male voices from Norway and female voices from Sri Lanka and will feature rural, American harmony singing, Bluegrass, Gospel and much more. The entrance for this concert will be free of charge.

The artists are also scheduled to perform a series of concerts and workshops for children and youth in Colombo and Kandy along with a one day master class for students of the University of Visual and Performing Arts.



3In 2009, Liv Valmestad, a librarian at Manitoba University in Canada received a SmartPhone for a three year project which encouraged to use the technology for outreach and to create innovative programs. She created a project through the convergence of media including Google Earth, Flickr, blogging, and QR (Quick Response- QR codes are two-dimensional bar codes that look like a maze, predominantly black-on-white) codes.

It has not only created a virtual art gallery accessible through a SmartPhone, but it also involved Augmented Reality (AR-researchers and engineers pull out graphics from of your television screen or computer display and integrate them into real-world environments) with Foursquare (free app that makes the world easier to use, discover what’s nearby and save money and unlock rewards) and Wikitude (an app that discovers what’s around you in a completely new way by using the camera, and exploring your surrounding apps. Simply, Liv used a mobile phone and internet sources, which are not similar, nor interconnected to converge and create a different product. Convergence in art is a more attractive topic as it tries to assemble two or more different forms.



z_p23-One-dayA One day seminar on Tagore and Sri Lanka will be organized by the Indian Cultural Centre (ICC), Colombo, in association with the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) and the Centre for Contemporary Indian Studies, University of Colombo on June 12. The seminar will commence at 9.30 am in the morning at the LKIIRSS and will conclude at 6 pm, as part of the celebrations of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore. The seminar will commence with remarks by High Commissioner of India, Ashok K Kantha and the inaugural address by the Chief Guest, Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation, Dr. Sarath Amunugama.

Considering the special relationship of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore with Sri Lanka, which he visited more than thrice and the longstanding impact these visits have had on its culture and art, the seminar will focus on the travels of Tagore to Sri Lanka and the cultural linkages they served to enhance. The seminar will be divided into consist of five sessions, including three academic sessions and the inaugural and valedictory sessions. Eminent Indian author, historian and educationist, Prof. Bharati Ray, who is currently Vice President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, New Delhi, will be delivering the keynote address at the seminar.



in_conversationMadhubashini Dissanayake-Ratnayaka is on the run. Her colleague is on the phone with a question related to work, her younger daughter is waiting for a ride (they're late for chess class), her elder daughter will need to be picked up soon and her usual parking spot was taken. The mother of two wouldn't usually expect to find a journalist keeping her company on her many errands, but the news that Madhu's first novel 'I Have Something to Tell You' was the winner of the 2011 Gratiaen Prize is still fresh. Now Madhu must squeeze a session of 'basking in the spotlight' somewhere into her overflowing calendar.

People who know something of her demanding schedule can seldom resist the temptation to ask Madhu, marvelling, 'how do you find the time to write?' For the author, however, the crucial question is a different one - how could she not find the time? "I live half my life in the car," she tells me. She is constantly composing paragraphs in the notebook in her head - waiting in traffic and washing dishes are prime writing time, each strangely akin to meditation.

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7a16e205791bc6643a6f360cda33ddba_MGirandurukotte, deep in the Mahaveli country, hardly seemed the likely venue to play host to France’s great 17th century playwright Moliere … but then that’s what the French Embassy discovered much to its great delight nearly twenty years ago.

The enterprising theatre and film personality Sathischandra Edirisinghe, we heard, was working with the sons and daughters of the farmers of Mahaveli System ‘C’ on a project. Sathis was, at that time, Manager Cultural Programmes of the Mahaveli Authority of Sri Lanka.

He was conducting a series of workshops and among other plays had also chosen Moliere’s ‘Tartuffe’ (The Imposter) which he adapted and played in Sinhala as ‘Thanha Aasha’.

Always quick to pounce on Franco-Sri Lankan ties, cultural and otherwise, the ‘Bonsoir’ team together with camera and lights and cables squeezed into the Cultural Service car and took off to Girandurukotte. We didn’t know what lay in store for us but we were certainly ready for adventure.

Read more:‘meets’-moliere-in-girandurukotte.html



A_brush_with_NatureThe Young Zoologists’ Association (YZA) celebrates their 40th anniversary with their annual painting exhibition.

A whole new digital world prompts many to take up the camera and shoot the wild. Exhibitions of wildlife photographs are quite common these days, but not so exhibitions of wildlife paintings. However keeping to their aim of promoting wildlife arts, the Young Zoologists are getting ready for their 18th annual wildlife painting exhibition KIN WILD 2012.

Wildlife art is one of humanity’s earliest art forms, dating back to prehistoric cave paintings such as those found in Lascaux, France. These were of a few large animals such as bison, deer or horse that were hunted by our human ancestors in Europe.

The focus of the young wildlife artists contributing to KIN WILD is different. Their aim is to spread awareness that it is a crime to kill all these beautiful creatures who are like our own relations in the wild; hence the title of the exhibition - KIN WILD.

These Young Zoologists have not restricted their work to only the charismatic animals such as leopards or elephants. They portray the value of our amazing biodiversity through their paintings of frogs, snakes, freshwater fish etc.

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