Sumudi Suraweera | Voyaging Musical Waves

Artra
Sumudi Suraweera’s passion to celebrate experimental music is robust. He not only co-founded Musicmatters, the music school dedicated to educate about alternative forms of musical compositions, but also initiated the Musicmatters Festival – which has established its position as a significant contemporary musical event in Sri Lanka’s  arts calendar taking place for the fifth consecutive year this August. During our ...

Ajai Vir Singh | Unmasking Swimwear Eco-Systems

Artra
Ajai Vir Singh, the far-sighted visionary synonymously associated with Sri Lankan Fashion made his first mark in the fashion industry ten years ago. He coined the slogan ‘Garments without Guilt’ for Sri Lanka’s apparel industry for which he won the prestigious Global Effie award. As the Founder of Colombo Fashion Week, he plays a significant role in uplifting Sri Lankan ...

Coldplay & P413 | Beating the Humdrum

Artra
Coldplay, one of the most popular music bands of our time released their newest album A Head Full of Dreams which exudes an aura of energy and exuberance. While watching the videos and listening to the lyrics, we realized that they question our mechanized lifestyle which reminded us of the reflections posed in the works of art by Sri Lankan ...

Anoli Perera | Feminist Readings & Contemporary Art

Artra
Anoli Perera’s vast knowledge and experience coupled with her vibrant personality formed a vivacious conversation about her upbringing and  deep-rooted passions.  In her recent exhibition, ‘Memory Keeper’ held at Hempel Galleries, she incorporates sewing and fabric in her works of art to resonate to the theme of nostalgia, forgetting and anxieties caused by the erasure of memory, for which she ...

Conserving Natures Bounty | Emad Sangani

Artra
Being a wildlife photographer goes beyond the general principles of photography. The challenges, obstructions and harsh conditions in the wild make this genre all the more exhilarating. Taking things yet another notch higher, Emad Sangani is not only a budding wildlife photographer but is also focusing a great deal on wildlife conservation. Introducing his work as conservation photography, Emad narrated ...

Art on Fashion | Sonali Dharmawardena

Artra
Sonali Dharmawardena, recounts the journey she took from being an artist to a fashion designer. Undisturbed by the variety of mediums to be explored, Sonali’s chose fabric to experiment with batik dying. Being a batik artist then took Sonali on a path that led to her having to play the role of a fashion designer. Now with her own label ...

Momentous Musical Musings | Lakshman Joseph de Seram

Artra
As we walked into the Goethe hall where Lakshman de Saram was rehearsing his composition with his fellow musicians, we were raptured by his rhythmic aura. The sight of his delightful presence at a musical setting exuded the energy of his score for film ‘Bel Ami’, where he co-wrote it with Academic Award winner, Rachel Portman. Lakshman is an internationally ...

Fortifying the Voice of South Asian Contemporary Art | Annoushka Hempel

Artra
Annoushka, Founder and Director of the Colombo Art Biennale (CAB), has been engaged with many global art councils and collaborations in the past few months. This interview outlines the initiatives she has been a part of and the ways in which she hopes these relations will impact the growth of the local art scene through her expertise and networking. Annoushka ...

Critiquing Contemporary Art | Jyoti Dhar

Artra
Jyoti Dhar sheds light on critical aspects of the Sri Lankan art scene from the perspective of a professional art critic through this interview we conducted with her. Born in New York, Jyoti has lived in London, Dubai, and New Delhi. She currently lives and works in Colombo. Dhar is the recipient of Forbes India’s Emerging Art Writer of the ...

Reimagining Folk Stories | Sybil Wettasinghe

Artra
When Beverly Cleary said, “If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.”, she might have very well been talking to Sybil Wettasighe, as this was exactly what she did. Starting out as an illustrator at the age of fifteen for her first book, Sybil thereafter, became an author for children’s storybooks. Sybil is known around ...

Invigorating the Fort of Kings | Sanjeewa Gunasinghe

Artra
Sanjeewa, our emerging artist for this issue of ARTRA Magazine is influenced by both the traditional and contemporary art styles, which inturn reflect a strong identity of his own through his artistic expression on canvas. We were intrigued by his use of fundamental principles of printmaking in his abstract work. Born in Anuradhapura and educated at the Visual Art Academy ...

Voicing The Perils of Mother Nature | Anoma Wijewardene

Artra
Expressing her views on pressing issues, Anoma Wijewardene speaks to us on how she employs her work as a means of communicating her musings. From the first issue of ARTRA Magazine, which featured Anoma, she has kept herself busy in creating work that articulates and explores environmental concerns an over-running theme from her previous collection, which has found a novel ...

HANDS MAKING FIGURES IN MOTION | TISSA DE ALWIS

Artra
Working mostly with plasticine and terracotta, Tissa de Alwis’ work has received notable attention locally and internationally for its enigmatic character. The passion for sculpting with plasticine started since Tissa’s childhood, through a past time hobby to a full time commitment of artistic endeavors. Showcased at many exhibitions over the years, Tissa’s work instantly reveal the artist’s unique ability of ...

CELEBRATING INDIGENOUS DESIGNS | DARSHI KEERTHISENA

Artra
Continuing a family endeavor that was initiated in her village, Kosvadiya by her parents, Darshi Keerthisena celebrates the ethnic tradition of batiks through her fashion design store ‘Buddhi Batiks’, named after her father and Founder of the concept. Darshi replenished certain conventions used in the trade by experimenting with materials and designs that generally wouldn’t be associated with batiks. This ...

Relinquished Explorations | Pathum Sameera Vithanage

Artra
Who are we to say what’s right and wrong in art. Every artist has a vision expressed in unique styles and techniques. Pathum’s venture on untrodden ground is merely the beginning of a fresh perspective in art that too few are capable of recognizing. Like the fate suffered by many in the past, this phenomenon too has been, unfortunately discouraging ...

ILLUSTRATING ASTUTE COMICS | ANURA SRINATH

Artra
An artist by choice, Anura Srinath chose to continue with his hobby of comic drawing despite his father’s wish for him to be a medical professional. Anura’s work depicts political illustrations of the time to children’s comic books, whilst his work is significant as it seeks to enlighten the youth with relation to a variety of subjects through  art. Although ...

Pursuing An Artistic Protest | Hanusha Somasunderam

Artra
From the peaks of the hill country in Nuwara Eliya, further north to the tip of the island in Jaffna, back down to the west coast in Colombo and now taking it international, Hanusha’s works of art voice the perils of her people.  Hanusha’s compassion and commitment towards the betterment of the tea plucking community from the up country are ...

Alternating Between Discourses | Abdul-Halik Azeez

Artra
Abdul- Halik Azeez speaks of his story with reference to the different phases of his life which contribute to his holistic socio-political views. Pursuing art in the fields of literature and photography, Halik utilize these forms of expression to complement one another as his photographic documentations are supported with perceptive captions and eloquent descriptions on Instagram, through his account ‘colombedouin’. ...

Empowering Art Together | Dileepa Jeewantha & Mahesh Indika

Artra
Attempting to add value to the art scene by venturing on alliances that have not been explored over time in Sri Lanka, Mahesh and Dileepa recreated the art of collaboration. In order to create enhanced versions of art, Dileepa and Mahesh showcased exhibits unlike any expected. This collection consisted of fourteen different pieces that were worked on by both artists. ...

Mastering Diversities | Sudheera Bandara

Artra
Wildlife Photographer and enthusiast Sudheera Bandara also happens to be a Doctor in the field of medicine. Sudheera seems to be a master at balancing such diversities. He let us in on how he came to be a photographer despite his stream of education. The ethical aspect that Sudheera mainly focuses on when it comes to his photography is yet ...