Groundviews interviewed the renowned Sri Lankan artist Anoma Wijewardene on her up-coming exhibition ‘Deliverance’, which opens in Colombo tomorrow at the Saskia Fernando Gallery and Paradise Road Galleries. The exhibition will run till the 18th of July.

As noted in the outline for the exhibition Groundviews was sent by Anoma,

Rio + 20, the Earth Summit is the largest international conference that aims to secure greater political commitment for sustainable development. It takes place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. This summit highlights water and oceans as themes paramount in the global endeavor to address climate change. It opens up an opportunity to leverage this platform and contribute to the global dialogue in a local context.

Deliverance aims to use art, science and cultural heritage to create awareness on our connection to the earth and water. The concept of this show is to juxtapose paintings – that allude to man’s interaction with the environment in an abstract and emotional way, with a lyrical plea for the earth’s protection that is justified through scientific data on climate change and water presented in a non technical format to increase the viewers’ understanding of these issues.

  • Paintings by Anoma Wijewardene will be the epicenter of the exhibition, with poetry by Ramya Jirasinghe to amplify the emotional response.
  • The art work will be mixed media with paintings (mixed media on paper, oils on canvas), digital images and interactive sculpture installations – designed for each of the 3 locations.
  • Quotes, Key messages and facts on climate change in all 3 languages, will be integral to the exhibits and will underpin the visual imagery.
  • There will also be spaces – “message boards” on which the viewers can start a dialogue on finding solutions.
  • A catalog of art work, poetry, and technical details is also envisaged, so that a more permanent document of the exhibition is available to the viewers.

In the interview we cover why Anoma thinks an exhibition on environmental issues, and in particular, water management, is important and how art can raise public awareness and debate on this score. We talk about her approach to art in general, and how for this exhibition in particular, she has used the iPad to create some of the works, a device which as we note in the interview is one that the majority use for media consumption over creation. We also ask her about the poetry featured in ‘Deliverance’ and how Ramya Jirasinghe’s verse is entwined, in the catalogue and when the exhibition will go live, in the gallery and public spaces, with her artistic works. Towards the end of the interview, Anoma talks about her father – the legendary Ray Wijewardene – and his influence on her life and art.