IMPRINTING A VISUAL MANIFESTO
Buddhika Nakandala is an artist from Matugama who has been working diligently in the field of contemporary art over the last decade. His journey in the field began after taking leave from the University of Visual and Performing Arts (UPVA) in Colombo, walking away from the potential of obtaining a degree to pursue his own talented investigations in printmaking. With the creative invention of his own printing machine, the artist paved the way for a unique and expressive way to realise a personal understanding of a visionary articulation. Buddhika’s first solo exhibition ‘Imprint in Print’ held at the Theertha Collective’s Red Dot Gallery, captured our attention for its striking collection of monotype prints of aesthetic excellance layered by social critique.
Buddhika’s collection of print is an expansive and questioning discourse on the nature of aesthetic function and its presentation. Notably, this collection was created through his own printing machine that he made with metal shafts and rods. The ‘Imprint in Print’ collection was largely comprised of a sublime combination of crushed undergarments and the organic matter of natural flora. The pervasive crushing of apparel, traditionally used to adorn the body and protect that which is culturally and biologically sensitive, and the melding of organic matter became a meditative and brutalised act in the process of unearthing pathological impulse. The works in turn were titled according to the botanical and scientific sources of their classification. The significance of roughness, dirt and the direct embedding of raw emotion comprises the
state of which the balance between play and discovery are juxtaposed alongside the difficult experiences found in the ways of living determined by privileged class structures. An idea of cultural disembodiment is presented here through a distancing of exposure and engagement with that of a collectively difficult past.
Buddhika dissects the idea of purity as he plays with the notions of wayward fantasy and imagination. The viewer is presented with an uncanny nature of familiarity that assumes enchanting shape, form and timeless narrative. Through presenting organic matter in the midst of piercing material phantasms, the artist produces an escapism through which objects of attention are repurposed to create an idealised state of aestheticism and a potential falsehood of interpretation. The inherent violence in the act also speaks of the oppressive nature of the civil war where the sights of scattered belongings, perhaps often left in the banks of shrubbery, would have been a common sight as their owners fled from horrors of warfare and relentless terror...
To read full article, click below