Imagining Peace at the Colombo Art Biennale

I’m delighted to be a part of Sri Lanka’s first Art Biennale and grateful to Annoushka Hempel for giving me this opportunity.  50 artists are participating in the Colombo Art Biennale, displaying their work over 14,000 sqft of space. In addition there are 25 other locations which will act as satellites to the main event and have mini-shows. You can read more about the event on their website here.
CAB artists

The theme for this years biennale is “Imagining Peace”

Peace – to encourage peace between and within nations, communities, families and individuals.  This is not so much about showcasing Sri Lankan art; this is a project with a vision. This is to show the world that despite the fact that Sri Lanka is a seemingly politically, ethnically polarized society, artists can work together as collectives, a sign of peace in itself. “Imagining Peace”- Imagining that people can work together. Source : CAB Mission

I believe that for sustained peace we need to shake off the past and move ahead.  The lotus flower amongst other things symbolizes peace. It is a beautiful representation of the indomitable and pure human spirit that has the ability to rise above the mud and murky waters to bloom into its pristine beauty.  The prospect of peace, unknown beyond past darkness is just as thrilling.  This has been the inspiration for the piece “Rise above the Past”

Rise-above-the-Past
“Rise above the Past” 36″ X 48″ Acrylic on canvas.

Annoushka Hempel is curating the work of 3 artists including me and you can read more about it in this clipping which appeared in The Daily Mirror this morning.
Annoushka's 3

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Colombo Art Biennale 2009

A must attend event!

CAB

CAB

Choker dekha Praner katha

My first Solo exhibition ended earlier tonight.  This whole week has been exhilirating.    The Opening on the 29th was very well received.  I was touched by the speech made by Radha Chakravarty, Shahid Kabir, Baby Maudud and my husband (on my behalf).  Each in their own way went a long way in making the event special and one that I will never forget.  Inspite of being averse to public speaking I managed to get up and string a few words together.  Gallery Chitrak handled the event extremely well.  I was touched that so many of my friends made it to the event.

solo coverage

One nice thing about having a PR company whilst at Apple was the fact that you would regularly get clippings coverage in the media especially after an event.   This list is based on feedback and some that i’ve seen so far…

May 28th-July5th – photo listing in the Daily Star Art section banner,

The News Today – small write-up

Prothom Alo – small write-up

ABC Radio Channel – regular event announcement

and a review

What the eye sees, and the heart speaks” and article by Art critic, Takir Hossain in The Daily Star

IANS (Indo-Asian New Service) – picked up the story “Indian painter exhibits work for Bangladesh connoiseurs”  picked up by Thai Indian news, The Gaea News and my blog post by JalleDa and Art Investment@demo research

Ujwala Prabhu, a fervent painter” an article by art critic, Takir Hossain, in the Dhaka Courier.

Click on pic below to see some photos from the opening.

Solo 29th May 2009

A Solo Show

Drypoint - second proof (SP)

I am busy with preparations for a solo exhibition planned for the end of May and will be back to my normal posting frequency in June ’09.  I hope you will stop by again then.

A hundred thousand hits!

P1120157

Tonight, as I sleep, Maya will cross a hundred thousand hits and I’m delighted.  Thank you!  Your visits have kept me blogging!

This blog was created on Dec 10, 2005 and the first post,  A journey begins, was back dated to about the time I made my first painting in recent years, July ’04.  It had to do with wanting a time line.  It’s taken a little over 3 years to get here.  The first year was pretty slow!

Along the way, I started taking photographs of life around me.  Mostly street life in the places I’ve lived in since.  I found that I enjoyed the experience.  I now stop and take photographs, like the one at the top of the post, which may never get used as a reference.  Something I couldn’t dream of in the beginning.  They were either personal shots or reference shots and nothing else.   And now I’m interested enough to have signed up for Sofobomo to make my own photo book for the year.

joy ride

My first love continues to be drawing and painting.  All this while, I’ve continued to work with multiple mediums with a focus on faces and figures. I think I’ve made some progress 😛   The reference used for the painting as well as the sketch is the same 😀 used two years apart – July 04 and July 06.

Amina 3 Amina

Some of you have been around supporting me from the beginning and I hope all of you ( ever the optimist!) will stick around to see where I’m headed.  Thank you once more for visiting Maya.

Lost in thought

Lost in thought - wip 3

Exciting times.  I’ve enrolled for a short term course at UODA under the guidance of Shahid Kabir, renowned Bangladeshi Printmaker and Painter.  For a while at least, the finished pieces getting on to this blog are likely to be prints.

Enjoying painting with oil and hope I can pick it up again after the printmaking course.

Lost in thought, 12″ X 12″, Oil on canvas.

Mechanical Fantasy

The opportunity to participate in a Printmaking workshop fell into my lap earlier this year and I’m glad I didn’t let it pass me by. This workshop was organised by the Britto Arts Trust and was a little different in format from the earlier two.

There were two coordinators but there was no person conducting the workshop. Half the participants were practicing print makers, while the others were painters and sculptors being exposed to printmaking for the first time. The idea was to share ideas, methods and techniques to produce work based on the theme “Mechanical Fantasy”.

The subject took me out of my comfort zone and I spent the first 3 days just playing around with different ideas and making small sketches based on them. Of course we were busy with cleaning and polishing the zinc plates in preparation. Finally two you see below were selected.

Lines were etched and then the plate was prepared with a layer of rosen for the Aquatint process.  Unlike the earlier two workshops, I transferred the drawings onto tracing paper, reversed it and used a sharp object to transfer it again to the prepared plate.

We held an Open Studio to display the work in early Feb and there is a plan to exhibit the work more formally in a gallery soon.  A friend photographed some of the work on display.

Mechanical Fantasy 1 - wip 2

Mechanical Fantasy 2 - wip 2

Je ne veux pas travailler

Flower Seller

We have many street vendors in Dhaka.  This flower seller’s expression caught my attention.  It’s turned out to be more aggressive mostly because of what I read into the situation and the stories that I built around him which kept me occupied when painting.

Using oils after a break.  The first painting is yet to be completed.  This one, I’m calling done.  It’s the first signed painting in 2009!

“Flower Seller”, 20″ X 22″, oil on canvas.