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

13th Asian Art Biennale ’08

Stop or else!

The Asian Art Biennale organised by the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy has been held in Dhaka since 1981.   A key art event in the region, it began with the aim of showcasing art from established and young artists portraying continuity and change.     The 13th Bangladesh Biennale is underway and I am delighted to have two of my paintings selected and one on display.

P1080579 P1080581

About the Painting (above)
Title : “Stop or else!”
Size : 24” by 30”
Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Tentative. Uncertain. Afraid.

Each of us has a boiling point and when we were younger we got there faster. Experience hadn’t taught us lessons of self preservation, forbearance, good sense or patience. Hot headed, hot blooded and extremely loyal, our actions took us to the point of no return and we made a stand for better or worse. Would it have made sense to deal harshly with us then? I feel bad when I read about tasers, lathi charges, rubber bullets and what-nots. Seems inhumane and unfair. Say No to violence against students.

ekla cholo re

About the Painting
Title : “Ekla cholo re”
Size : 24” by 36”
Status : SOLD
Medium: Mixed media on canvas

Sometimes, when there is a heavy load to bear, you have to walk alone.

This painting has been inspired by Tagore’s beautiful poem in Bengali, “Ekla cholo re” (walk alone) With apologies to Tagore. mostly translations do not capture the beauty of the original piece

Walk alone

If they do not answer to your call, walk alone,

If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
unfortunate one,
open your mind and speak out alone.

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
unfortunate one,
trample those thorns under your tread,
and along the bloodied track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light on that stormy night,
unfortunate one,
with the flame of pain ignite your heart
and let it shine alone.