PERFORMATIVE SCULPTURE AND THE EVERYDAY
Art inspires living. It awakens our senses to that of which is beyond that meets the eye. It is not only an outlet of expression, but also a source of inspiration. Significantly, for artist Prageeth Manohansa, living inspires the creation of his works of art. A well established veteran artist represented by Saskia Fernando Gallery is completely attuned to his abode amidst luscious nature and bountiful indigenous fauna in Yagoda, Gampaha, which stirred the works of his latest collection ‘Wanantharaya’. His recent exhibition at Saskia Fernando Gallery is a departure from his popular assemblage-focused practice as the artist now finds new callings in the omnipresence of nature and its relationship to the creative process. Prageeth revitalizes the approach to material, embracing critical topics on an organic scale through this collection.
As the rooted ecosystem of a forest relies on the functioning of its inhabitants, so does the function of individuals in a society allows it to operate. Prageeth compares each individual as a work of nature, comparative to a tree. We are comprised of segments that provide for a greater whole. “People are countries, landscapes with roads and byroads. As each tree is different, so are we”. The artist uses the knowledge of each unique leaf according to its aesthetic as a reminder that we have much to learn from nature. Jungles and cities have much in common; “there is much from the ground that is also important; one tree does not grow under another tree”. There is much to nature that cannot be seen with the naked eye. And yet, it is arguably an artist’s declaration that nature is unbounding in generosity, should a seeking student turn towards it.
The originality of nature is explored and paid homage to in ‘Wanantharaya’. The showcase content was derived from the lives of fauna and flora in his residential garden. Illustrations from imprints of numerous leaves on brass sheets result in spiraling fractal patterns guided by the Fibonacci sequence. “Every single piece, every single element of a leaf can be seen on these brass replication”. Delicately treated sculptures of deer and extensive foliage are amongst some of the productions on display. “To imagine how strong nature is as an artist, and the vision associated with it in its creative process, is evolutionary”.
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