A Return To Sri Lanka ~ A Travelling Exhibition
Portrait of a young Sri Lankan woman ~ 1880s ~ Charles T. Scowen And Co
The Coming of Photography
Goldsmiths at work in Jaffna ~ 1880s ~ W. L. H. Skeen And Co
Covering nearly 300 years of Sri Lankan history, "A Return to Sri Lanka" is a rare opportunity to see a unique selection of over 150 images drawn from the collections of the British Library, the Victoria and Albert Museums, the Natural History Museum in London and the National Museum in Colombo. Through manuscripts, maps, prints, drawings, photographs and other artefacts, the exhibition illustrates how the island has inspired both visiting and local artists to document its peoples, landscapes and cultures. The exhibition covers images of Sri Lanka from British Collections 1640 ~ 1900.
Maps by Pedro Resende Barreto ~ From 1635 ~ 1835
Map of the Island of Ceylon ~ 1835 ~ Pedro Resende Barreto
Plan of Jaffna ~ 1635 ~ Pedro Resende Barreto
Plan of Trincomalee ~ 1635 ~ Pedro Resende Barreto
Plan of Batticaloa ~ 1635 ~ Pedro Resende Barreto
Plan of Kalutara ~ 1635 ~ Pedro Resende Barreto
European fascination with Sri Lanka was initially stimulated by its strategic position in the struggle for colonial dominance in South Asia and as the source of many of the immensely profitable spices for which European trading companies competed. With increasing familiarity, Europeans also slowly became aware of ~ and attempted to record—both the beauty of the island and its rich cultural heritage, in fields as diverse as archaeology and natural history. During these centuries, a thriving market with European customers also developed for the products of Sri Lanka’s own vibrant artistic traditions. The long story of interaction between Europe and Sri Lanka has resulted in a rich and varied legacy of images which provide a fascinating insight into the island’s history during the colonial period.
A Jaffna barber’s shop ~ 1880s ~ Unknown Photographer
"A Return to Sri Lanka" brings a choice selection of this common heritage to a Sri Lankan audience in the form of digital facsimiles of material held in several major British collections.
Eugen Von Ransonnet ~ Villez ~ Ransonnet’s diving bell used to sketch submarine life near Galle ~ 1867
Admission is free and the exhibition will visit four major cities in the island between September and November 2011. The venues and schedules for the display are as follows:~
Colombo ~ Lionel Wendt Gallery ~ From 14th September 2011 ~ 28th September 2011
Jaffna ~ Jaffna Public Library ~ From 5th October 2011 ~ 19th October 2011
Kandy ~ Kandy City Centre ~ From 24th October ~ 6th November 2011
Galle ~ Galle Municipal Council ~ From 11th November 2011 ~ 24th November 2011
New and correct map of the Island of Ceylon ~ 1822 ~ Captain Gualterus Schneider
This exhibition is funded by the World Collections Programme and produced by the British Library and the British Council. The World Collections Programme is a UK Government funded initiative to foster bilateral links between UK cultural institutions and partner organisations in Asia and Africa, to facilitate greater access to collections and to make British collections available to a wide international audience. At the end of its tour the exhibition will be gifted to the Ministry of Heritage to make it more widely available to a Sri Lankan audience.
Viewers at the unique exhibition
A Water Carrier ~ 1806 ~ Samuel Daniell
Kandy Perahera ~ Mid 19th Century ~ Unknown Sri Lankan Artist