SRI LANKA HERITAGE OF WATER
Photographs of Luxshmanan Nadaraja
We found Luxshmanan Nadaraja’s photography in ‘Sri Lanka: A Heritage of Water’ (2016) immaculately exploring the artist’s close relationship with the natural environment. Inspired by the research and thoughts of the late R.L Brohier, the celebrated Surveyor, The three stunning works of narratological significance elicit the organic cycle of water formation, encapsulating the natural placement and function of mountains as water towers in creating a balance in the natural ecosystem.
A raucous but breathtakingly beautiful flow of water traveling from the mountaintops of local hill country is the focus of the photography captured by Luxshmanan Nadaraja on page 53. Mountains and highlands, as a component of nature are identified as ‘water towers’ that provide freshwater for the survival of mankind in the lowlands as a necessity of living, while powering the needs and wants of irrigation, food production, industrial and domestic use of the rapidly growing population. Thus, the mountaintops of the Sri Lankan upcountry act as spatial storage as well as generators of water for civilians who depend on the element for day to‐day persistence.
Nadaraja’s photography captures this essential ecosystem of water towers that engulf nature and man in an unending circle of dependence and co‐existence. The white and transparent hue of water is contrasted with the cloudy fog and greenery of the mountains to represent this increasingly separating ecosystem, and man is sent a manifesto of oneness from nature. As water evaporates from the lake and forms clouds to enrich the soil as rain, the water cycle occurs, allowing the process of water formation in nature to flow in a smooth manner. The rainforest visible above the flow of water are essential components of the cycle as they hold the water facilitating its trickle down. Disturbances caused to the cycle in terms of deforestation will result in natural disasters including floods and landslides, disrupting the routines of mankind as well as nature.
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