Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Artscope | Online edition of Daily News - Lakehouse Newspapers <%dim dbpath, pageTle, Section, Section1 %>

Liaison between war and peace

A joint exhibition of Vietnam War photographs and uniquely designed and locally hand produced greeting cards will be held at the Warehouse Project, 25, Tripoli Road, Colombo 10, from October 1. The show will be open to the public for two weeks and features black and white photographs of the Vietnam war taken over 40 years ago by former combat photographer Kurt Rolfes and a collection of unique international greeting cards produced in Colombo by Monica de Lanerolle.

Monica de Lanerolle

Rolfes is an American who has lived in Asia most of his life. A civilian combat photographer and film maker with United Press International and NBC News, he spent two years covering the Vietnam War in 1967 and 1968. Wounded three times, he still has a telephoto lens with a large bullet hole in one side which stopped a sniper round and saved his life. Living and working in Singapore as a photographer, film maker, voice-over artist and writer for 32 years, Kurt has covered almost all of Asia in both war and peace.

A resident of Sri Lanka he is currently living with his daughter Jacquie and her family in Colombo. He does regular stories for Serendib, the Sri Lankan Airlines in flight magazine; his most recent story and pictures captured the excitement of a 200km trip he made by kayak down the lower reaches of the Mahaweli Ganga to the Bay of Bengal. Other Sri Lankan eco-adventures planned include another Serendib article on the Muthurajawela Nature Sanctuary, the circumnavigation of Sri Lanka by sea kayak and another on exploring the entire island by Tuk Tuk. He also plans to conduct fun classes on photography at the Warehouse to expose the neighborhood kids to a very real future profession and by example, a life of travel and adventure.

For the first time in Colombo Monica de Lanerolle will display her eye catching collection of handmade greeting cards. Designed and personally supervised by Monica, this collection of cards for any occasion is assembled and constructed by young mothers from the Warehouse area and survivors of the Tsunami. One of a kind, the cards are made using board, sequins, beads, plastic, fabric and eco friendly materials including seeds, feathers, flowers, sand, sawdust, sea shells and coral, jute, straw, leaves, coconut and banana fiber. These cards can also be custom crafted of other materials for any special occasion.

Each card is also unique and never duplicated. The greeting card business began as a part time hobby, but Monica, a native Sri Lankan, soon realized that there was an international market for this creative and unique product. With the encouragement of her family and friends, she set up a small workshop at home and trained several deserving local mothers in the technique of handcrafting her greeting card designs. The rest is history, as they say!

Handmade greeting cards take shape

�One must have a serene surrounding and peace of mind to make these creations. In an atmosphere of freedom, contentment and beauty that surrounds us, one can receive inspiration to work and create. All this is possible only because our thoughts and life are not disturbed by violence, fear, bitterness and uncertainties that war brings to man.

�Tough they seem so far apart,war and peace very much a part of one another other. It does blend in a very peculiar manner. The whole story of how it came about is woven around this,� Monica opined on how the concept took shape.

She says that the collaborative exhibition stemmed out of Kurt�s invitation.

�When he saw the cards he was overwhelmed. He suggested that he joins me for this exhibition and make it absolutely unique. I did not hesitate and I welcomed him aboard as Kurt is not only a professional photographer but also an international figure in his field. This is the first exhibition of this nature to take shape in Sri Lanka,� she stressed.

She says that the cards are a team effort. Her family and friends are very supportive towards her work and she has two assistants, Achini and Dilini, working with her. �We are here to give. Our mission is to offer our gifts to benefit one another, to create mutual gain in this world,� she concluded.



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Produced by Lake House Copyright � 2006 - 2013 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

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