‘Games We Play’ with vibrant shades
Artist Josephine Balakrishnan
The title itself has a strange note that grips your attention. ‘The
Games We Play ... Under the Coconut Trees’ sends you back to a time when
you were carefree and ready to enjoy a game of cards or board games.
Infused with tropical pop bravado of South Asian and Californian
sensibility, these paintings are the recollections of thoughts that
Josephine Balakrishnan had in her childhood when she used popular
children’s games to combine with imagination to make up stories.
Her work explores the emotions and consequences the games have on
children, how they teach them to take risks, barter and communicate
while winning and losing relationships. It is all blended with our
personality for the reactions and choices reflect what we are.
‘Games We Play’ is a compilation of around 28 paintings by
Balakrishnan on exhibit at the Barefoot Gallery till September 7.
Born in England, Balakrishnan had spent the latter part of her life
on the move. She had visited many parts of the world, Asia, Europe and
South America before finally settling down in Central California, North
The tales that her mother would relate to them about her ancestors in
Sri Lanka fascinated the young girl and encouraged her power of
imagination. Hailing from a family of artists, she had taken up the
brush at an early age and express her thoughts to others by transmuting
the images of her mind to colourful sketches on canvas.
Her work is made up of symbols, the social backdrop and colour sense
taken from her travels in countries like India, Sri Lanka and Europe.
She relates that her work often needs a sense of more than one culture
to decipher its content.
“There are three aspects to the paintings. One is basically about the
games that play like scrabble, monopoly, snakes and ladders, cards and
There is a psychological side to games which involves what we do and
react towards each other. Then there is the inner part which of the game
which relates a story through symbols and colour,” Balakrishnan
One of her stories relates a tale of a man who had come home to find
that his wife had all the cupboards open. He had warned her to keep the
cupboards locked and once he discovered that she had disobeyed him it
was a sign that their relationship was coming to an end.
Josephine had held painting exhibitions at the Barefoot Gallery for
more than 20 years. She had also exhibited her work abroad and some of
her work had been sold in major museum stores like the National Gallery,
Museum of Modern Art New York, Chicago Art Institute, Guggenheim and
“I am doing pretty well and I guess that the Californian colours and
the tropical shades in the paintings speak to both communities.
I found a printing medium from which I could keep the intensity of
the colours,” she said adding that she had been searching for a method
to preserve the vibrant shades of her paintings for the past couple of
“Painting had always been something that I loved to do and my family
had always been very supportive towards enhancing my talent. I have also
done sculptures but painting took over once I went to New York.
I have also done printmaking and I hope to venture towards
filmmaking. I also have a series of 13 six foot five by five paintings
titled ‘Pilgrims in the Diaspora’ which I hope to launch along with a
small audition book,” she stated concluding that she aims to inspire
others to tell their own stories, to use their own images without
imitating others work.
Two stage dramas at Elphinstone
K.B. Herath’s new stage play Jagath Ma (Mother Universe) will be
performed on August 29 at 3.30 and 6.45 p.m. This drama evolves around
the tragedy of those who attempt to challenge the very existence of
nature. It shows that man is but a part of nature not its guardian or
Saumya Liyanage in Last Bus Eke Kathawa
Rathna Lalani Jayakody, Sampath Thennakoon, Indika Ferdinando,
Madhanie Malwatta and Lanka Bandaranayake are playing the lead roles.
Music is by Shantha Peiris while the settings are by Dhanajaya
Karunarathne. Costumes are by Sweenitha Perera. Make up is by Buddhadasa
Galappaththi. Production Manager is Jude Srimal.
The series of stage dramas Sihina Rangahala (Theatre of Dreams)
written and directed by Dananjaya Karunaratne will be staged on August
30 at 3.30 p.m. and 6.45 p.m. Chandani Seneviratne and Susith Nishantha
will be part of the cast in Valentine Enakan, Saumya Liyanage in Last
Bus Eke Kathawa, Palitha Silva and Madini Malwatta in Chandrawathie
Samaga Rathriyak, Chamal Ranasinghe and Dimithu Chinthaka in Duwana Un
Dennek, Kaushalya Fernando, Chamila Peiris and Sanath Wimalasiri in Oba
All the above dramas have won the awards at the State and Youth drama
festivals. Music director will be Kapila Poogalaarchchi, lighting
designer Wasantha Kumara, make-up artist Bhanu Prasanna, while Kosala
Thottawathge will be assisting in Direction.
Stage supervision by Sameera Nuwan and Sumeda Niroshan, stage
arrangements and costumes will be by Danajaya Karunaratne and Juge
Shrimal will be the chief organiser of ‘Sihina Rangahala’. ‘Sihina
Rangahala’ sponsored by Sunethra Bandaranaike Foundation.
The latest addition to the series Duwana Un Dennek will also be
scheduled to be staged. It is a tragi-comedy influence by physical
theatre. Over the past few years Dhanajaya has been experimenting in
search of a more proactive and sensitive style of theatre.
This series is a successful result of above experiment. After a while
the drama series is reproduced with the original cast since there is a
growing demand for Dhananjaya’s plays.
New interpretation has been added to the plays. One of the plays,
‘Last Bus Eke Kathawa’ has been translated into English and shown in
many countries. Some of the plays have been already published as a book
named ‘Last Bus Eke Kathawa’.
‘Dead Man Walking’ at Russian Centre
“Dead Man Walking” will be screened at Russian Centre, Colombo, on
August 30 at 5 pm.‘Dead Man Walking’ (1995) directed by Tim Robbins, won
Oscar ( academy award winner) for best actress Susan Sarandon. Starring
Sean Penn, Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry, R. Lee Ermey.
‘Dead Man Walking’ based on a true story. Mattew Poncelet (Sean Penn)
is the convicted killer of two teenage lovers, waiting to end his
sentence and his life on Death Row. In response to a letter, the
progressive and outspoken Sister Helen Prejean (Susan Sarandon) visits
Matthew and finds herself face to face with a convicted killer who
continues to plead his innocence when the date is set for his execution
- death by lethal injection.
Poncelet asks Sister Helen to be his spiritual advisor, and she
agrees, little knowing the anguish and pain that will follow for him for
her and for the parents of the children he is accused of slaughtering.
The journey they will undertake in search of the truth is as powerful
and profound as you are ever likely to witness on screen.
Sunil’s Katath Katath for everyone
Some visuals from Sunil’s tracks
Renowned vocalist Sunil Malawana, who had churned out many favourite
numbers like Api Dedena and Mala, had launched his newest track Katath
Katath. The music video is now being aired on television channels and is
fast becoming a hot favourite among music enthusiasts.
Sunil had begun his music career as
a guitarist. He is the younger brother of popular vocalist Annesely
Malawana and had played for Moonstones and later the celebrated Super
Golden Chimes. His first Sinhala song Api Dedena was released in 2004 to
coincide with the Super Golden Chimes Reunion Concert. Mala followed and
became an instant hit.
He also composed an English number, ‘Brown-eyed Girl’.
According to the old boy of St. Josephs’ College, Colombo, music is
purely a hobby. He never engages in outdoor performances. He describes
his style of music as ‘modern with a touch of the 70s style.’
Sunil’s music videos are created by Wide Angle Productions.
He hopes to add six more tracks before launching an album.
He plans to donate the money from the album to charity. Currently
involved in the shipping business, Sunil believes that songs need not be
necessarily rapped to attain fame.
New book by Nuwan
Renowned young journalist and critic Nuwan Nayanajith
Renowned young journalist and critic Nuwan Nayanajith Kumara’s latest
book Gaddarika Pravahaya hevath Sukiri Batillanga Lokaya (Undiscerning)
will be launched at the BMICH (Hall A) on September 4 at 4 p.m. The
event is organised by Pansilu Arts Circle and Sunil Aruna Weerasiri.
Dr. Praneeth Abayasundara, a senior lecturer of the University of Sri
Jayawardenapura, will chair the event while veteran filmmaker Jayantha
Chandrasiri and popular media personality Jackson Anthony will deliver
Classical songs will be sung by veteran vocalists Nanda Malini,
Jayantha Ratnayake, Kelum Ratnayake. Indika Upamali, Shashika Nisansala,
Isuru Jayaratne, Iman Perera, Ranjan Saliya Perera, Harshana Dissanayake,
Mangalika Thenakoon, Ayesha Samaradivakara and the Lionel Ranwala troupe
backed by Sahan Ranwala.
A host of upcoming young vocalists will also take part at the event
with the dance troupe trained by Dr. Ariyaratne Kaluarachchi of the
University of Visual and Performing Arts.
Compering will be handled by two generations represented by Indunil
Dissanayake, Tharaka Wasalamudaliarachchi and Sandamali Hewanayake
respectively. The script is by Wasantha Kumara Kobawaka.
Year 1977 witnessed the emergence of the open economy with new trends
in mass communication. Nayanajith’s work discusses the way the
intellectual capacity of the young generation was affected by these new
It emphasises the need of creating a Sri Lankan identity in the
globalisation process, overcoming the artificial waves of open economy.
The book analyses how the Sri Lankan society abandoned the Theravada
Buddhist tradition by embracing the Western way in an inappropriate
The book, containing 523 pages with 300 rare photographs, is a
Sarasaviya bookshop Publication.
Nayanajith, a Lake House journalist and a visiting lecturer at the
University of Visual and Performing Arts, has authored a number of
publications: Adyatana Cinemave Lingika Pravanatava (1999), Gamini
Vishviya Rupanavedayaka Asiyanu Purogamiya (2004), Sri Lankeya Cinema
Vansaya (2005) and Lester Virachita Lekhana Sanhita (2006).
He will be launching his official website www.nuwannayanajith.com
designed by Prabath Withanage, a University of Kelaniya undergraduate.
Art Walk 2008, a dazzling show put together by the dynamic Anjuli
Flamer-Caldera, will feature the creations of young artists such as
Deandra Bulner, Rohen Wijeysekera, Natasha Jayasuriya, Natalie
Jayasuriya, Suba Menike, Shanika Perera, Thisakya Senanayake, Saraah
Deen, Tarja de Silva and many others.
Photographer Sandun de Silva will present ‘The Seven Deadly Sins’
along with Darshi Keerthisena of Buddhi Batiks, Anitra Pieris of Artina
Style and Mihiri Devendrathem will showcase their creations too.
Hair and make up by Ramani Fernando, dramatic art make up by Jacquie
Mei and a hair show segment will be presented by Vasantha of Salon Kess
with photography exhibitions by Pat Memelka and Anjali Mahendran.
Forty segments that encompasses Human Body Collages, Exotic Floral
Art, accessories made out of recycled material, a Dramatic Costume
fashion show by Natasha Jayasuriya and Tarja de Silva (comprising of
Gothic Ballerina’s and Fairies) and the launch of Natalie Jayasuriya and
Tamara Raymond’s newest clothing lines - Baby Bling and Sista.
Art Walk will have on display everything from funky clothes, to
hand-made jewellery, and a flipbook of photographs. It will feature
dancing, modelling and a performance arts section; which will give the
audience some serious food for thought. Art Walk will be on August 29,
at the Part Street Warehouse, followed by an after-party.
Two books to be launched
Award-winning writer Somaweera Senanayake’s latest work on Buddhism
entitled Sathun Athara Bosathvaru will be launched at Dayawansa Jayakody
Book Exhibition Hall, Colombo on August 26 at 10 a.m.
Senanayake is the author of Raja Kale Punchi Lamai, Mavakage Geethaya,
Yashoravaya, Menik Nadiya Galabasi, Paramitha, Andurata Pahanak, Api
Thavamath Sansare and Baladevage Lokaya.
Sathun Athara Bosathvaru is a Dayawansa Jayakody publication.
Sith Ru Udana takes shape at Lionel Wendt
The passion for textile printing and pottery carving commenced from
her childhood. Inspired by her surroundings in Meevatura, Kandy, Kusum
Mangalika took up the brush to set the images on her mind to cloth.
Her flair for art and pottery carving originated from her school days
at Sri Rahula College, Katugastota, and she was able to develop her
hobby to take shape into an exhibition titled Sith Ru Udana which will
unfold at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery from August 29 to 31.
A student of E.K. Abeyratne and one of the pioneers of the
52-year-history of picture stories she had contributed to Multipacks
Publications, Camillus Publications and Sumathi Publications for many
years. She had also designed book covers for several well-known authors.
Some of her creations
‘Kandy Lamissi’ at OTSC
Nightingale of Sinhala Pop and Baila, Mariazelle Gunathilaka will be
the ‘star’ attraction at the Old Thomians’ Swimming Club, Monthly Club
Night at the Club House premises on August 30 at 8 p.m.
Mariazelle will sing a mix of Sinhala pop and Baila hits with some of
Western oldies. ‘Wild Flowers’ led by Bastion will be the three piece
backing band and Brian Thomas will be the host.
The event is open to all members, their families and guests, says the
social secretary of the OTSC Tusita de Alwis.