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