Darshage Sithtam art and newspaper cartoon exhibition | Sunday Observer

Darshage Sithtam art and newspaper cartoon exhibition

Darsha Kapuge, an artist who has worked with newspapers for more than two decades, is holding an art and newspaper cartoon exhibition titled ‘Darshage Sithtam’ at the Panadura Town Hall on October 8 and 9.

Darsha, a cartoonist, artist and writer at the Silumina and Dinamina newspapers hopes to launch his website on the same day.

“I studied at Ananda College, Elpitiya. From my school days, I excelled in painting, and was involved in all arts related activities in the school and in the neighbourhood,” Darsha said.

His father Indra Kapuge too was an artist and this artistic background at home shaped him in his journey in the field of art. During the first few days at school, Bertha, the class teacher of young Darsha, asked them to draw the portrait of a man carrying some weight.

“When I finished it within a short time and showed it to the teacher, she was surprised and showed her appreciation. In a few minutes, the painting moved to other classrooms. At one point I became a popular figure among artists. It was my teacher Bertha who instilled in me a talent for painting,” Darsha reminiscences.

In 1989, two picture stories of Kapuge were published in the Rejina Women’s magazine. That was his first appearance in a newspaper. He fondly recalls the support extended by senior journalist Thilak Senasinghe towards that.

“It boosted my confidence and interest. At the same time, I got the opportunity to do portraits of actors in the Rasa Cinema tabloid. That feature was very popular, towards which Ernest Waduge, editor of the magazine, helped me”. Thereafter Darsha continued to contribute as an artist in several other publications of Ernest Waduge.

“I made a name as an artist during that time. Also I started to work as a writer for newspapers,” he said.

Later, in 2002, he stepped into children’s story books. Since then he has published about 60 children’s story books, and created over 100 book covers for other authors.

“I met Narada Nissanka in 2016 and had the opportunity to contribute as a cartoonist for the front page of his newspaper, Siyadesa, where I had quite a busy job as a cartoonist and writer,” Darshana explained. During that time, he also worked briefly as a cartoonist for the Tamil newspaper, Virakesari.

Finally, he was able to realize his childhood dream of becoming an artist. And now he is ready to present his collection of paintings and cartoons on October 8 and 9. The exhibition will be held at the Panadura Town Hall from 9.30 am to 9.30 pm on both days.

The exhibition will comprise his paintings done in various media such as oil, acrylics, water colours and pastels, which comprises more than 250 paintings.

“While I am happy with my journey as an artist, I am not satisfied with the situation of the Sri Lankan artists. I see it as a very difficult journey.

“In other parts of the world, an artist is a well-respected, economically sound person. But it is the opposite in our country. Therefore, as a journalist, I am determined to use my pen to elevate art and the life of artists in our country,” Kapuge said.