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Wednesday, 14 September 2011

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Travel back in time

The exhibition takes you 300 years back in time to the olden days of Sri Lanka. Over 150 images drawn from the British Library,Victoria and Albert Museum collections, the National History Museum, London and the National Museum, Colombo, will be on display at A Return to Sri Lanka.

National Heritage Ministry Private Secretary Bernard De Alwis, British Library Visual Arts Lead Curator John Falconer, Exhibition Co-curator Menika van der Poorten and Sri Lanka British Council Country Director Tony Reilly at the press briefing. Picture by Nissanka Wijeratne.

Return to Sri Lanka

* Lionel Wendt Colombo from September 15 to 28 (9 am to 7 pm) ??
* Jaffna Public Library from October 5 to 19 (12 pm to 7 pm)
* ??Kandy City Centre from
*October 24 to November 6 (9 am to 7 pm)
*??Galle Municipal Council from November 11 to 24 (10 am to 6 pm)

The exhibition takes its viewers to the grandeur of the country's history via maps, manuscripts, prints, drawings, photographs and other artifacts. It illustrates how the island has inspired both visitng and local artists to document its people, landscapes and cultures. Over 150 images categorized into 12 sections will be on display, unfurling a history that any nation will be proud of.

Some of the key features which captured foreign interests are highlighted at the event. The colourful perehara is one such aspect because European artists and photographers had captured this parade on many of their work. One exceptional creation is a seven meter length panorama of the Kandyan perehara.

The country's picturesque nature is another noteworthy aspect in the line up. Breathtaking drawings of some of the distinct flora and fauna are strikingly frozen in canvas. These are part of a series of watercolour drawings by a Dutch administrator which will do doubt come in handy while recording facts about the natural beauty of the isle.

"The work of German photographer Frederick Fiebig is some of the earliest surviving photographs in the isle. He visited Sri Lanka in 1852. Among his work are 70 views of Colombo, Kandy and Galle. His work fascinate me not only because of their beauty but also because he is a bit of a mystery. He sold his photographs to East India Company and simply disappeared from the face if the earth!," Lead Curator John Falconer.

"Some Sinhala, Pali and Sanskrit manuscripts too have been included for visual appeal.

Some of the exhibits

Students will no doubt find A Return to Sri Lanka useful because they will encounter many facts which they learn from their history books. We can give them a tour if they contact us and let us know when they will be coming early," Co-curator Menika van der Poorten added.

A Return to Sri Lanka is funded by the World Collections Programme and produced by the British Library and the British Council. At the finale of the exhibition the exhibits will be gifted to the National Heritage Ministry to make it more widely available to Sri Lankans.

An online version of A return to Sri Lanka will be available for 12 months from September 16. You can scan a QR code and save the exhibition's opening to your mobile phone calender instantly.

 

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