By Azara Jaleel

This edition of ARTRA Magazine presents a mesmeric introspection to the profound perspectives permeated in beauty and esoteric. Every featured work of art has been prudently chosen amidst a plethora of paintings, film stills, photographs and poetic installations to capture the most prolific exquisiteness of the artist's mind to present to you - Dear reader, the vivacity of life, while bringing forth the awe in the abstract, the choreography in colour and the visceral in the verbose.

Cecil Balmond, the cover personality for this edition, is an iconic artist whose works are an intertwining of the allegorical with the physical implications of architecture, reflecting a gallant vision. His celebrated presence in the international industry and influential footprint in Sri Lanka are subsequences of his multiplicity in understanding, interests and influences from Western learning and society as well as the customs and conventions of Sri Lanka. As you swift through the pages, you will lay your eyes upon ARTRA's curation of Cecil Balmond's selected local and international architectural works, including art installations and exhibits, wherein a fluid juxtaposition invokes an awe-inspiring visceral magnificence grounded in the physicality of its complex engineering, denoting architecture's elevation to works of art.

The nuances of cinematography in symbolizing diverse perspectives celebrate the artistry of its subject, that which encapsulate in moving images, sound and music, beauty and wonder, tragedy and humour, love and war. Bonjour Cinema, in these regards is a remarkable experience of culture, and film of which ARTRA is proud to partner with the Embassy of France for the fourth consecutive year in presenting selected art house films for this year's film series. In this edition of ARTRA Magazine, we present a curated collection of four of the most quintessential cinematic encapsulations from the film series to be showcased this year.

Additionally, this edition features selected works from the multi-dimensional exhibition 'One & Many – Forms of Words and Silence' that exemplifies Poet/Academic Packiyanathan Ahilan's most significant works that move poetry from its traditional written form into new models of expression. The creative process to these poetic installations involved the insights and expertise of architects, painters, glass workers and carpenters alongside musicians and theatre professionals to curate a space that unveiled and awakened the resonations of his poetry within the viewers and listeners, which we found exceptionally enthralling.

Moreover, we are excited to present a curated selection of ten works of art from Artist Anup Vega's collection from 1990 to date that strongly presents the artist's introspection on man's relationship with the natural world. In conversation, he said “Everything inspires me. I only observe and never judge, what I see. I mostly see colours, and I see them transforming,” of which we found his abstract understanding influencing his works, drawing a poetic resemblance of that which we find deep within our consciousness. Colors decode underlying emotions of humanity. Gentle, yet insistent. It creates a state of mind, mirroring life in its purest form, which this edition of ARTRA Magazine also encapsulates through every visual and narrative featured across the pages.

Azara Jaleel

21st April, 2021 Visual Art | Paintings