Saturday, November 24, 2012

"A Different Road" Through An Artist's Eyes

By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Roadscape, 2012, Digital Print

Post war development is underway in Jaffna peninsula like the rest of the country. Many main roads in Jaffna including KKS (Kaankesanthurai) road and Palaly road are under rapid construction, and expansion. Roadside shrines have either  been relocated or removed during the process. Residents and shopkeepers  along these roads are in the process of giving space for the road expansion, and bringing their cadjan fences and cement walls closer to their houses. These main roads are widened and carpeted.

Pradeep Thalawatta, an artist with Sinhala Buddhist background experimented and explored his experiences of Jaffna through art. He attempts to understand the Jaffna culture through simple red and white Hindu temple wall, Hibiscus flower which is found almost everywhere in Jaffna, worshipped  and used for religious rituals and cuisine, road side shrines, pothole and rapidly changing landscape. He uses road as a metaphor to experiment and explain the existing environment in Jaffna. "I visited Jaffna for the first time in 2010 after the war ended. Red and white Hindu temple wall immediately captured my eyes. I have used red and white colours to depict socially and culturally different environment. I am aware of the fact that certain people may not like the idea of using the red and white vertical lines, which depict the Hindu temple wall. But, I have chosen these colours to experiment my experiences of living in Jaffna with a predominantly Tamil Hindu community” says Pradeep Thalawatta. He lived in Jaffna for nearly two years, and taught at the Department of Fine Arts, University of Jaffna.

We feel very uncomfortable looking at 11 half naked portraits of the artist’s images dressed in red and white on “Roadscape””according to certain ardent female art lovers.
"A Different Road", an exhibition by Pradeep Thalawatta was held at Lionel Wendt Gallery in Colombo on 24th and 25th of November , and was hosted by Hempel Galleries.
Artist's portrait on the "Roadscape"
"I have experimented to explore using my experience been in Jaffna, despite the language barrier. The red and white Hindu temple wall caught my eyes, when I visited Jaffna after the war ended" ~ Pradeep Thalawatta
Yet another close up of "Roadscape"
Viewers discuss about the "Road at Night"
Close up of "Roadscape"

Raja Theatre Halt, 2012, Ink and water colour on paper, 83 x 118cm

Roadside shrines along the KKS (Kaankesanthurai) road in Jaffna have been removed for the expansion of the road

Pradeep Thalawatta sharing his experience with the viewers

KKS Road, 2012, Pyrography on Photo Print, 240 x 76cm
Pradeep Thalawatt says end of the war enabled him to live and work in Jaffna

The Game, 2012, Playing cards and mixed media on archival paper, 58 x 240cm

“Red and White” theme is extensively used to express the views

Sky, Sea and Road, 2012, Ink and Pyrography on Photo Print, 37 x 213cm
A road is drawn on a fragile tissue roll

Hibiscus Flower, 2012,Ink on archival paper, 122 x 183cm
Pradeep Thalawatta explains to an ardent art lover

Road Roll, 2012, Installation of a tissue roll painted with ink
Art lovers at the preview

Road at Night, 2012, Ink and Acrylic on Paper
Viewers taking a closer look at the exhibits
Pothole, 2012, Pyrography on Photo Print, 183 x 120cm

 Cover page on ESCAPE of Ceylon Today

Centrespread on Ceylon Today



Blogger Fathima Fazlaa said...

so proud to see

1:49 AM  

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