SUMMONING NATURE'S QUINTESSENCE
Stimulus, spirituality and oneness with nature evoke the artistry in our cover personality for this edition, Druvinka Madawala. Hailed as one of Sri Lanka’s leading contemporary artists, Druvinka’s work is a reflection of the transcendent realms that the environment embodies. Her works have travelled the world mirroring her simple demeanour and rooted spirituality in the forms of solo and group exhibitions not only in Sri Lanka, but also in India, London and Malaysia. Having gained prominence as an artist after a solo exhibition in Colombo in 1990, Druvinka has since used visual art to elicit a deeper understanding of the environment whilst portraying her unique relationship with nature.
Well known for utilizing the ancient technique of tempera, Druvinka’s canvas made of rice paper is her medium on which she employs numerous brush strokes of acrylic to evoke her thoughts visually. The artist’s recent solo exhibition at the Barefoot Gallery took place between the eighteenth of July to the fifth of August. They magnified Druvinka’s enigmatic personality further through the portrayal her spiritual persona Manasa, the snake Goddess, which she believes fuels her creatively. The artist’s lifestyle as a yogi in the mountains of India’s Himachal Pradesh further influences her to consciously and carefully negotiate with nature for survival and artistry.
Artistic expression comes ‘naturally’ to Druvinka, a term we use with deliberation here. She is an artist gifted with an inborn talent for creativity as her family has a rich history of skilled artists. While she paints from her abode in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh, she fends for herself with the minimum requirements for life: “It’s very tough, because we don’t have central heating up there.” However, she states that adapting to the systemic procedure of human civilization and urbanization is more challenging to her than adapting to the extreme weather conditions in the mountains. Druvinka’s lifestyle compliments her in terms of an artist as it positions her within her subject matter; which is nature as she refers to herself to be ‘an artist in nature’. She believes that “everything in nature is art” thus depicting her perception of the natural world through her works.
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