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‘Api’- I am because we are

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During CAB 2016 on the December 16th, 17th and 18th CoCA, collective contemporary artists will continue their ongoing solution focus community engaging Art project ‘Api’ at the Vajira Sri Children’sDevelopment Center,Kotte.

The First stage of the project was initiated two years ago focused on improving and enhancing Vajira Home’s educational, social and ecological environment. For this CoCA engaged with Vajira Home’s community, artists, along with friends and supporters of CoCA.

With the children from the center, CoCAinitiated an idea to develop an educational and interactive community play-garden. It is for play, to educate and connect communities around Art work. It is to ‘grow’.

Creative play and design ideas for the play-garden was initially developed with the children, taking into consideration children’s own imaginative ideas and needs. The interactive play-garden emphasize on holistic education, life experiences and learning beyond the confines of the classroom and the formal educational environment. This ongoing project provide a platform for children and adults alike to learn subjects such as Math, Science, Languages etc while engaging with physical and arts base activities. The interactive play garden will provide a platform to connect communities with recycling processes and practices.

We, the CoCA, are open to network with various organizations and individuals who are interested in engaging with this process, in the spirit of mutual exchange of skills and resources.

The project is designed to focus and develop the personal growth in multi- cultural communities by supporting each other and to promote the interconnection between nature, culture and society as sources of knowledge, meanings, values and identity for sustainable development of diverse communities through creative activities. ‘Api’ is a sub project of the ‘SYMBIOSIS’ project. 

 

ACTIVITY SCHEDULE

WHEN: 16th December 2016

TIME: 9.00 A.M – 12.00 PM

WHERE: Vajira Sri Children’s Development Center,

21/25 AnandaBalikaMawatha,Sri JayawardenepuraKotte

ORION EXPERIENCE WORKSHOP

For children at the Vajira Center, conduct by ThilinaHeenatigala

Project:

Orion Experience is a tactile astronomy-art installation which promotes education through art as its key ingredient. Exploring the astronomical distances between the stars, it shows a thought-provoking space conceived between the stars, the light years, and our view from the Earth. Orion Experience further allows people with vision impairment to ‘see’ the stars through a tactile observation.Cube Out Of the Box – mobile multifunctional space will be used as a workshop space at the event

Profile:

ThilinaHeenatigala is an astronomy communicator working in astronomy education and interdisciplinary science for development. His focus is on using astronomy as a tool for the development, specially students in developing countries and underprivileged communities at a global scale. In 2010 he co-created the ‘AstroArts’ programme with Astronomers Without Borders to support artists inspired by science, particularly astronomy. He works with Leiden Observatory (The Netherlands), Science Office (Portugal), Europlanet (UK) and NúcleoInteractivo de Astronomia (Portugal), supporting educational programmes.

WHEN: 17th December 2016

TIME: 9.00 A.M –4.30 PM

WHERE: Vajira Sri Children’s Development Center,

21/25 AnandaBalikaMawatha,Sri JayawardenepuraKotte

ORGANIC GARDENING

Continue building the organic garden and creating  ongoing educational play areas with the children at the Center.

WHEN: 18th December 2016

TIME: 9.00 A.M –12.00 PM

WHERE: Vajira Sri Children’s Development Center,

Orion Experience workshop

for Vajira home Children Conduct by ThilinaHeenatigala

ORION EXPERIENCE WORKSHOP

For children at the Vajira Center, conduct by ThilinaHeenatigala

Project:

Orion Experience is a tactile astronomy-art installation which promotes education through art as its key ingredient. Exploring the astronomical distances between the stars, it shows a thought-provoking space conceived between the stars, the light years, and our view from the Earth. Orion Experience further allows people with vision impairment to ‘see’ the stars through a tactile observation.

Profile:

ThilinaHeenatigala is an astronomy communicator working in astronomy education and interdisciplinary science for development. His focus is on using astronomy as a tool for the development, specially students in developing countries and underprivileged communities at a global scale. In 2010 he co-created the ‘AstroArts’ programme with Astronomers Without Borders to support artists inspired by science, particularly astronomy. He works with Leiden Observatory (The Netherlands), Science Office (Portugal), Europlanet (UK) and NúcleoInteractivo de Astronomia (Portugal), supporting educational programmes

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The Face in Your Place I & II

Saskia Pintelon 2014

On the occasion of Saskia Pintelon’s solo exhibition at Saskia Fernando Gallery and her participation in the CAB a publication was made. The book entitled ‘The Face in Your Place I & II’ is a rendering of the work on display at JDA gallery during the CAB 2016.

An official launch and signing by the artist is programmed at Saskia Fernando Gallery on 3rd Dec 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

In the period of 2005-07 Saskia Pintelon, Belgian artist residing in Sri Lanka made a series of large graphic works called the ‘Faces’ This series of paintings resulted in a book in the form of a leporello entitled ‘The book of Faces.’

In 2012 Pintelon began revisiting her own work in this printed publication. The original ‘Faces’ become ‘Other Faces’ as she relentlessly – at first delicately, later more radically reworked, altered, camouflaged, transfigured, disfigured and sometimes destroyed or obliterated the images of the original ‘Faces’. Pintelon used the images of her own work as a base and intervened with collage and mixed media. This resulted in more than 35 unique artist books that are artworks in themselves.

Two of these customized leporellos stand apart from all the others, they are entitled ‘The Face in Your Place I & II’ and are exhibited as part of the CAB 2016, displayed in vitrines.

They began as a kind of a joke whereby Pintelon wished to prove that her work fits in any place or environment. She set about making collages in the ‘The Book of Faces’ with found material of spaces.The results are tongue in cheek images where her ‘faces’ appear in the most diverse spaces from cozy home interiors, to museums, galleries, libraries. These fractured parts of the faces appear in a wide array of forms. Certain are just an eye peering through or hanging in a space, others look like real artworks hung amongst others, still others are like in-situ installations, whilst others seem naturally part of a wall or décor.

The effect looks strikingly natural as it looks as if the fractured ‘Faces’ have always been part of the décor or setting. Some give a voyeuristic impression, giving the eery feeling that someone is looking into the space. Others are more intimistic. The part of the Face, is a foreign element, a dissonant in the image and yet often it merges seamlessly with the space and the other elements.

It is Pintelon’s way of conceiving space with her customary humor. She intervenes in the images of an existing space to make it her own and simultaneously intervenes in her existing work and thereby gives both a whole new life and meaning. Like someone once said that no home in Sri Lanka was complete without a painting by Saskia Pintelon she wanted to show that she is able to appropriate any space. She enters given spaces and through her intervention alters not just the physical, visual reality of them but gives them another soul.

A publication of the exhibited work ‘The Face in Your Place I & II is on view and for sale at CAB info and ticketing point. A book – signing by the artist is programmed at Saskia Fernando Gallery on 3rd Dec 6 30 – 8 30PM.

All the proceeds to the artist from the sale of her work or publications go directly to BAFF, a Sri Lanka based non-profit organization.

 

 

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From Artist To Artiste

The Sooriya Village is honored to be part of The Colombo Art Biennale 2016 to present a unique dining experience, coupling its love for the world of art with comfort food created by renowned chef Koluu. The Sooriya Village is a facility that breaks the boundaries between galleries and restaurants, with its vast spaces which are constantly redesigned by non-auditioned and non-curated individuals. The duty of the artist/artiste then becomes to create a relationship between the space, the tables, the food, and the audience, allowing for mixed reactions from the diner according to their experience. This way we allow the audience to decide whether the art is a complementary good to the restaurant or if it is an added feature.

The days proceedings include Musical Performances, Live Paintings, Mehendi Collections, SFX Make Up tutorials, and Knitting & Designing, all taking place simultaneously allowing the diner to enjoy their meal whilst being exposed to the creators in their work-in-progress mode.

Location:- The Sooriya Village located at No. 49 Skelton Road, Colombo 05
Date:- 4th of December 2016
Time:- 11:00am to 3:00pm
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Mullegama Art Centre Children’s Art Project for CAB 2016

Creative expression is often inspired by an artist’s surroundings and their engagement and understanding of the spaces they inhabit. In an age where, increasingly, many aspects of life are becoming concentrated within the confines of indoors and digital space, the art of understanding context through conversation, exploration, and observationcan often be sidelined.

In hopes of re-igniting the love of exploration and strengthening important interpersonal skills of the young, 2010 Sovereign Prize Winner Pala Pothupitiya, 2016 Sovereign Prize Finalist, Pradeep Thalwatte and coordinator Lalith Manage, with a collaboration of local artists, will lead an exciting, experiential 6 day workshop for 21 children. Participants hailing from the Mullegama Art Centre, Sri Palee Campus (University of Colombo), and from the communities within Slave Island, will explore popular and industrious, everyday walking routes as guided by the inhabitants of Slave Island. The inspiration gathered from observations and first- hand experience of the topography, industries, and community ties will be expressed in artistic form through paintings and sculptures –utilizing sketching, digital documentation, and scrap material gathered by students during these walks.

The unique sculptures and artwork depicting aspects of life in Slave Island as seen through a youngster’s eye, will be displayed throughout Slave Island during the Colombo Art Biennale.

This project is funded by the Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong, which aims to provide recognition to the growing contemporary art talent in Asia, and bring proven benefits of art therapy to marginalized children.

Photo Credits: Mullegama Art Centre

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Alnoor Mitha’s notes on CAB 2016

SOUTH ASIAN HUB CAB 2016: ‘Conceiving Space’ –

There is a proliferation of Biennials in the globe. It appears that each and every city in the globe wants to actively transform its artistic discourse by presenting contemporary art in an urban setting. In many ways this boom of creativity encourages a new cultural dialogue. It benefits the local artistic scene as well as an international audience who may not have visited the place for the first time. So where does the biennial phenomenon arise from? The word itself is Italian and means an event that happens every two years.

However, if we interrogate this further we find that the first large scale international exhibitions were at the futuristic London structure, Crystal Palace. During ‘19th century World fairs provided a visual crystallization of colonial culture and were, at the same time, forerunners of contemporary theme parks.”[1] The Venice Biennial which is probably the worlds most attended biennial started in 1895. The rest of the world followed steadfast.

In many ways the globe and its cultural Art fairs are almost like theme parks or a new form of cultural tourism. The artistic global community is able to visit these new events, be it biennials, triennials or Art Fairs that somehow feed the community of collectors, and wider audiences with multiple snapshots of contemporary art.

More recently, we have the South Asian focus on the biennial culture. South Asia is an interesting constituency, rich with history and international trade routes. Take for example the Kochi Muziris Biennial, India, Dhaka Art Summit, Bangladesh, Lahore/Karachi Biennial Pakistan, Kathmandu Triennial, Nepal and the Colombo Art Biennial, Sri Lanka. These Biennials have created a new kind of aesthetics to consume art in a very different way. My particular focus here is curating the Colombo Art Biennial, (CAB).

As the lead curator for the CAB, my main aim as a researcher and curator is to establish a framework of curating a significant number of local artists from the wider regions of Sri Lanka.

alnoor Mitha

Conceiving space logo-05

The programme will present the works of approximately 25 local artists and 25 International artists exhibited at several different locations around Colombo including Colombo 7 and Colombo 3; Fort and Slave Island, from December 2nd to December 20th 2016.

The local artist segment includes participants from Jaffna, Puttlam, Batticaloa, Gampaha and Colombo and will focus on young emerging artists of Sri Lanka who will make up 50% of local artist participation at CAB2016. Local and international artist’s participants will display a variety of artistic disciplines, including installation, sculpture, sound and performance art.

The conceptual framing for CAB 2016 envisages a consideration of the following intentions and strategies in its artistic direction and curatorial vision: Engage with the theme of ‘Conceiving Space’ – interrogating space as ‘public’ and private; space as protest and contestation; space as tangible and imagined; space as community, memory and legacy; space as architectural, performative, temporal, spiritual and rhythmic; space as liminal and ritualistic; space as embodied and meditative; space as virtual and transcendent.

‘Conceiving Space’ seeks to strengthen the established contemporary Sri Lankan art space and context, and engage with creating artistic associations in the Asian Region (however broadly we define the region), while being conversant in international contemporary art discourses. ‘Conceiving Space’ demands an expansion in the mediums of artistic expression that will be engaged with so that, for example, performance art and music composition and sound (which existed as segments in previous biennales) could contribute as a provocation about what constitutes art for artists and art communities.

I am particularly interested in curating the first “South Asian Hub” in Colombo. In other words, there will be a significant number of South Asian artists whose ancestry is from South Asia but now live in either Europe or USA. The idea of focusing on the hub will create a unique platform that will investigate the current quality of artists from South Asia living internationally. So why South Asian hub? As I have highlighted earlier South Asia is a fascinating geographical location, however the regions haven’t had a friendly or neighborly relationship. There have been political and religious divisions between the regions, and I don’t really want to go into much detail about the differences. However, I am interested in showcasing the familiar, or shall we say the similarity of cultures not least the similarity of artistic exchanges between artists. Artists from South Asia are making some of the most exciting work in the world today. I wanted curate a space, that not only engaged with outstanding talented international artists but also a space that supported the local Sri Lankan artistic sector. I believe that the emerging artists from Sri Lanka will be interconnected with international artists. I have also established a mentoring scheme for local artists where the older generation of artists support the younger ones in a collaborative process.

The CAB 2016 has various creative strands including the architectural intervention to be launching for the first time. The programme which will run from the 3rd – 11th December will be centered in and around the Slave Island district in Colombo with a strong focus on Community Engagement.

Community Engagement

This nine-day programme will see internationally renowned and award winning architects working as artists with the local community with the support of both international and local students and artists. At the end of the programme the collaborations will be showcased in and around the community area, culminating in a ‘Great Feast’ on the last day bringing together 500 members of the local community will be cooking and joined by artists, architects and visitors.

Some of the highlights of the CAB2016 will include:

The work by local Sri Lankan artists Venuri Perera, Abdul Haliq Aziz, Priyantha Udagedara, and Liz Fernando. The international artists will include Mithu Sen, Pushpamala N., Reena Kallat, Faiza Bhutt, Naiza Khan and Hardeep Phandal these are just a few names to entice everyone to the artistic programme.

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Black Candy II by Mithu Sen

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Venuri Perera

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street photography by Abdul Halik Aziz

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‘An hour in the Herbal Garden II’ 2015

by Priyantha Udagedara

Studio Assemble

Studio Assemble

MADELINE VRIESENDORP

Madelon Vriesendorp

Studio Assemble & Madelon Vriesendorp

A collaborative project in the heart of Slave Island Learning from the techniques and tactics of crafts and material traditions of Sri Lanka, Madelon and Assemble will build on the contemporary make-do- and-mend craft culture that thrives in Slave Island in several small and improvised workshops.

These workshops will see Madelon and Assemble working together with residents, mixing local contemporary oral histories and folklore to create a series of small, animate sculptures, which will populate the rooftops and streets of Slave Islands. This collaborative process between the residents of Slave island Madelon and Assemble, will produce work that will be the first permanent public sculptures for both Madelon Vriesendorp and Studio Assemble.

The CAB2016 is an ambitious programme that will invigorate the mind and create a subliminal as well as conceptual space that will lure the audience to visit the multiple sites in Colombo. The CAB is a free event with films, performances and site specific interventions. In short, the public should feel free to attend and collaborate with the series of community engagement programmes.

Alnoor Mitha FRSA, Lead Curator Colombo Art Biennial

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Moving out: An initiative by UZ Arts

You are invited to Moving Out 2016 on Saturday 26th November at Sunbeach Hotel, Galle Road, Hikkaduwa : www.sunbeachsurf.com

Agenda

1 pm – 4 pm – Exhibition of sound works, land art, installation, print work and video

By the Sura Medura Artists:

Natasha Russell – Artist & Illustrator based in Edinburgh www.natasharussell.com

Sumit Sarkar – Visual Artist based in Manchester http://www.kriksix.com/

Nichola Scrutton – Composer and Sound Artist based in Glasgow www.nicholascrutton.co.uk

Stephen Hurrel – Video and Text Artist from Glasgow http://www.hurrelvisualarts.com/

Samson Ogiamien – Sculptor and Performer based in Graz, Austria http://www.ogiamien.at/

Martin Janicek – Sound Artist, Sculptor, Musician and Sound Designer from Czech Republic http://www.m-janicek.eu/

 

Special Guest Act

Rose Staff www.vjradiance.com

5 pm onwards – Reception

Meet and greet Sura Medura Director Neil Butler, Colombo Art Biennale Founder and Director Annoushka Hempel, Colombo Art Biennale Curator Alnoor Mitha and the Artists

7pm – Sunbeach’s Famous Sri Lankan Dinner Feast of Rice and 12 curries at Rs. 1,500 nett

Due to limited seat availability advance reservation are required. Reserve through info@sunbeachsurf.com before Thursday 24 November 2016.

Make a weekend of it : Sunbeach Hotel is offering special rates on room reservations over the weekend of the event contact info@sunbeachsurf.com for further details.

About Moving Out 2016

‘Moving Out’, an initiative by UZ Arts, was brought to life in 2014 by the Sura Medura International Artist Residency Program where participants presented their individual and collaborative work by way of a performing art festival.

The debut festival was executed in two phases: six artists from the disciplines of digital art, audio production and performance, street and theatre performance, sculpturing, set and costume design and architecture, in collaboration with the undergraduates of the Visual and Performing Arts University in Colombo, together with the Dodanduwa community exhibited their artistic knowledge exchange through a series of events held in Hikkaduwa and Colombo.

This year Moving Out will feature an exhibition of sound works, land art ,installation, print work and video by Artists from Edin & illustrator based in Edinburgh  – Natasha Russel, Visual Artist based in Manchester – Sumit Sarkar, Composer and Sound Artist based in Glasgow – Nichola Scrutton and special guest artist from Australia Rose Staff.

For further details and dinner reservations send in your inquiries to info@sunbeachsurf.com

 

About Sura Medura

The programme supports artists from all disciplines of art whose work can be enhanced by being made in Sri Lanka. Sura Medura has close contacts with the local and national artistic community. It provides mentorship in advance of the visit and support during the residency with introductions to their peers locally and in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital city.

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CAB Team visit to Liverpool Biennial

The Colombo Art Biennale, as a member of The New North and South, a three-year programme between a network of three Northern cities and five South Asian biennials (Kochi, Lahore, Karachi and the Dhaka Art Summit), and the British Council were awarded an ‘An Ambition for Excellence’ The Whitworth, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester Museum, Liverpool Biennial, and the Tetley in Leeds, will work with the Lahore, Kochi, Colombo, and Karachi biennials and the Dhaka Art Summit on a series of co-commissioned exhibitions, performances, critical dialogues and professional development activities.

In July 2016, the CAB team visited the Liverpool Biennale for the second conference of the New North South. Representatives from the five South Asian Biennales and from the Art Institutions of Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, convened at the Liverpool Biennale for a 4 day conference, the main agenda of which was setting the programme for the three year partnership between the three Northern UK cities and the five South Asia Biennales. The CAB team were also able to visit some of the Liverpool Biennial attractions, including upcoming CAB2016 participant Assemble’s commission for the Liverpool Biennial. http://www.biennial.com/collaborations/granby-workshop

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DHAKA Art SUMMIT 2016

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