Daily ARTRA's Artist of The Month
Daily ARTRA’s Artist of the Month, Shamanthi Rajasingham, is an Australian-based, Sri Lankan artist and illustrator who works with a multitude of media, ranging from paintings that explore the landscape of her homeland, Sri Lanka, to illustrations that accompany novels. Having embarked on a Master of Art, Shamanthi has been influenced by yoga, mindfulness and, more recently the sociological effects of technology in a modern setting. Shamanthi’s creations often see the fusing of the human body with either animals or inanimate objects in order to impart a social message to her viewer. Her work has been exhibited both within Sri Lanka as well as internationally and her illustrations have been commissioned by eminent clients including Penguin Random House India and the Indian Quarterly. Additionally, Shamanthi’s vibrant, expansive murals can be seen in a few spaces in Sri Lanka as well as in Sydney, Australia. Shamanthi claims that ‘visuals have always been her primary medium of expression’, and through her artistic practice she is able to further investigate the communicative nature of a multitude of visual languages. She creates delicate black and white ink drawings and intricate etchings which evoke a sense of contemplation from the viewer while also producing bright and vivacious paintings that exude energy and dynamism. Her primary motivation for delving into the world of the visual arts is thus to engage with what we perceive and experience in the world around us. In doing so, she is able to convey her vision of the world to her audience. The present context for Shamanthi’s pieces sees her responding to a burgeoning shift towards thinking more mindfully about technology and its function today.
Shamanthi notes that her work has moved towards a direction that considers the effects of technology on today’s society. She asserts that much of her current work ‘draws inspiration from the way technology has influenced [how] we socialise’. What is of particular interest to her is the construction and performance of an online identity that may not always be true to the actual person behind the screen. In exploring these aspects of technology, social media and the act of socialising in the twenty-first century, Shamanthi assesses the effects of these quasi-fabricated online personalities have on our daily lives. Her screen print Attention Spam (2019), created using luminous yellows and oranges and a deep blue, merges the apparently forgetful, goldfish and a multitasking human figure. Her narrative implies that like the goldfish, in today’s technological climate, we too have lost our ability to retain attention for long periods of time, consequently commenting on the effect technology has on the human.
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