ART in CURFEW: CHANDRAGUPTHA THENUWARA, FABIENNE FRANCOTTE, FIRI RAHMAN, MUVINDU BINOY, NUWAN NALAKA AND PAKKIYARAJAH PUSHPAKANTHAN
ART in CURFEW is a series created in quarantine by SFG artists. These works are being processed in an enforced quietude and many are a response to the pandemic. Accompanying the series is a calendar of instagram live stream OPEN STUDIOS of artists working in isolation whereby they spend one hour taking viewers through their practice, current works and current environment. ART in CURFEW aims to create a response to the lockdown in Sri Lanka and express them to our online audience while acknowledging the transient nature of their response during these times.
The sketches titled 'Mythopoetic' are an amalgamation of the movies I rewatched, the albums I play in the background, the beats I make between intervals and my chronic socializing via interwebs due to quarantine and curfews. I would play the anime Akira on mute, crank up some Rei Ami tunes, one eye reading Bukowski quotes and the other looking through my Instagram news feed. All these things are happening while I'm sketching, coloring and cut-pasting magazines.- Muvindu Binoy
The world is full of panic, distress, inequality and hopelessness. I think this is a horrible situation and, for some people, this state-of-being forces them to relive old memories; memories their minds would like to forget. The situation we are all living in now - the constant state of fear, the confinement at home, the long queues to get basic goods - is daily life for many humans all around the world; it's only now that it is affecting everybody. Now when we have enough time to think while safe in our homes we become aware of this. This is the time to understand the pain of those people who suffered and still suffer all around the world before, during and after COVID-19. This pain is inestimable so instead we should all focus on the hope for a better future, not only one without a virus but a future without the social viruses of war, racism, lack of empathy or the disrespect of nature. - Pakkiarajah Pushpakanthan
This series of work re-envisions a museum diorama of animals by staging it in a dystopic urban environment, where fauna are allowed to roam the crumbling remains of deserted vistas of a gentrifying Colombo.
The work draws parallels between processes of endangerment and loss of habitat with processes of urbanization, gentrification and evictions of people from their traditional homes to make way for large-scale, big-capital led development projects in urban environments. Essentially connecting these two processes from a post-humanist perspective, situating both the urban masses and fauna as a common oppressed, victims of the global capitalist/neoliberal agenda.
The scenes are imagined in abandoned spaces cleared of people and within sites of heritage architecture slated to be torn down in the process of making way for Colombo's urban development program. They highlight the fragility of neglected heritage sites, and critique the insensitive. -Firi Rahman
The pieces in the series Cacti 2020 feature abstract renditions of cactus plants that metaphorically represent the two sides of every human being, our tough exterior that protects our soft interior. Just like human beings, each cactus is different and as such bares different characteristics, colours and patterns that are also represented within the artwork. - Hashan Cooray
'Fondamenta' means foundation or base in architectural language, through these works I link it to the lack of landmarks/bases today. Drawing disembodied parts of bodies going blind and silently looking for anchorage. A walk along the edges. After I completed this series I broke my ankle. - Fabienne Francotte
My paintings represent Samsāra, a journey that metaphorically represents our way of life. This idealistic background allows the viewer to focus on deep, moral values. Today the world is suffering from a deadly virus. It has brought with it fear, hopelessness, mourning and sadness. In these new renditions of my Sutra series the dried lotuses juxtaposed with the new lotus bud are an attempt to represent hope. My lines have become more aggressive and my brushwork emits the feelings of tension and fear. I have tried to manifest the sensation of hope via this transition in my practice. This expressionist practice also incorporates Oriental techniques and philosophies. - Nuwan Nalaka