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Sunday, 18 September 2011

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Artist treads austere path

To rise to higher reaches of creativity, an artist finds it essential to jettison, what are perceived as burdens. This process of lightening the journey, enables the creative individual to focus unerringly upon the "heart" of an issue. He progressively discards the peripheral matter, that obstructs the direct approach to the central theme. The astonishing outcome of this effort, is the emergence of works that breathe a highly eloquent simplicity.

Many an artist of global eminence, arrived at this stage of mature yet 'rich' simplicity, after long years of sustained practice. The most exquisite instance of this sensational phenomenon, is the culminating work of perennially great Pablo Picasso.

One of his paintings

Chadana Ranaweera

His lines in this climatic period of his classic career, are pure poetry, rapturously singing his aesthetic liberation from those convoluted linear twists and turns of his early periods, that kept him earth-bound - as it were.

Sensitive artist

Our own Chandana Ranaweera, has produced a series of works, in which he makes his latest statement as a sensitive artist, through an array of simple lines and curves.

But, I must make it quite clear at once that I am not that rash as to embarrass us all, by attempting even a distant comparison of Chandana Ranaweera's work with great Pablo Picasso's linear simplicity in his culminating works.

No, not at all.

But, when everything is said and done, the linear simplicity that characterises Chandana Ranaweera's latest works, hints impressively at an inner urge.

His advanced vision has enabled him to discern the core and the essence of the subjects of his choice. Subsequent to the process of selection, he reduces the "theme" of his choice, into telling lines and curves. Each completed monochrome sketch possesses a startling graphic power, and remains etched deeply in one's inner recesses.

Motifs

The motifs he deploys, are dictated mostly by the attitude of minimalism, that provides the philosophic underpinning for his art. Through his facile sketches, that are starkly simple, he, at times evokes a beguiling whimsicality.

You could take a focussed look at the sketch, he had titled as "Woman." In a few deft touches, he presents the "Woman" to the viewer.

The strokes are so simple, that they could pass for child-art. But, the total expression it projects, is stunningly graphic.

Look again. Note keenly the eye-brows. Over one eye, the eye-brows are placed as is natural.

But, this is for the other eye, the eye-brows are underneath the eye. This whimsicality, ties your work-a-day-mind, in a knot.

His monochrome piece titled "Tsunami", profiles this vast tragedy, capturing the details of the devastating disaster, with unerring effectiveness.

Discipline

In a sketch titled "The confrontation of Generals," two heads face each other. The artist brings out their equality in terms of their prowess, discipline and sternness. They are depicted to communicate that they are both aggressively unyielding.

Artist Chandana Ranaweera, is preoccupied in this austere series, with the need to go beyond the surface texture of his themes.

Had the creative statement limited itself to a mere sketch of an external presentation, they would have remained routine efforts, bereft of an in-depth implication.

On the other hand, in most of the works in his current collection, there is a stylisation, that raises the work to the level of significant art.

I am especially intrigued by his stylised depiction of "Owls". It does not stay at the level.

 

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