WITH MY BACK TO THE WORLD
In celebration of International Women's Day 2023, Saskia Fernando Gallery brings together the work of 12 contemporary female artists based in or from Sri Lanka.
Fabienne Francotte, Hansika Herath,Chaturika Jayani, Shaanea Mendis,
Ashini Nanayakkara, Sabeen Omar,Anoli Perera, Sumi Perera,
Saskia Pintelon, Anoma Rajakaruna,Hema Shironi, Anoma Wijewardene
Curated by Mariyam Begum and Ashini Nanayakkara
Possibilities emerge when a needle punctures through a surface, grazes, or pricks it. Lines dream up alternate realities—they loop in to slow down time, leaving nuances of meaning between folds of fabric and textiles stretched taut. Here time becomes a narrator guided by loops and lines, the in-and-out movement of threads, or in the act of piecing together assemblages. When layers of text, textile, images or paint overlap, meaning is sometimes made and sometimes lost in the shadow play of what is visible, and what is not. Conversations begin in these interstices.
Borrowing its title from the 1997 painting by artist Agnes Martin, With My Back to the World asks the viewer to observe, feel and respond to the subtleties in art-making without seeking a cause or reason. This is an invitation to actively engage with process and the tactile conversations that emerge across different disciplines. While two artists might be experimenting with the same idea or technique, their journeys often take them in distinct directions. However, what we begin to discover is also a meshwork of interconnectedness—of both resonances and paradoxes.
Whether it be embroidery, beadwork, woodblock printing, painting, sculpture, assemblage, or photography, there is much that transpires within the silent interstices of subtle gestures. The exhibition attempts to grasp what remains unsaid in the liminal spaces where materials are moulded, arranged, reshaped, and deconstructed. It is in these pauses, creases, and spaces in-between that our gaze is drawn into an object’s materiality, allowing us to ruminate on the intangible experiences of life.