Sunday, June 16, 2024

A glimpse into the inner workings of artist

by jagath
June 9, 2024 1:08 am 0 comment 486 views

Arjuna Gunarathne
Just Arrived lll, 2023 (watercolour and crayon on paper)

Arjuna Gunarathne’s art exhibition Outline at the Saskia Fernando Gallery offers a glimpse into his inner workings as he navigates the complexities and nuances in an unfamiliar space.

The exhibition presents the fantastical imagination through which the artist essays the loneliness and alienation of the migrant experience while finding mirth in the quiet existence he has carved out for himself and his family.

Filtered through the prism of Gunarathne’s perception and emotional wavelengths, this latest series of works finds him exploring the potential of the pigment pen, watercolour and crayon to mimic a wondrous child-like engagement while continuing to integrate and interpret the various schools of visual art practices that he has trained in.

Gunarathne is a visual artist, based in London. He was educated in the miniature tradition at Beaconhouse National University, Pakistan. In 2018, Gunarathne attended the Drawing Year Postgraduate program at the Royal Drawing School in London. As an avid student of diverse visual arts practices, Gunarathne blends Eastern and Western traditions to create a unique visual language.

His work has been alongside fellow graduates of the Royal Drawing School in celebration of the coronation of Their Majesties King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Christie’s in London. Gunarathne has held solo exhibitions in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and his work is part of the Royal Art Collection in the UK. He has been featured in The A-Z of Conflict and exhibited at the Museum of Ethnology in Austria and the fourth Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh.

Cascade of colours

In 2022, Gunarathne showcased his work at Saskia Fernando Gallery with an exhibition titled Within Boundaries.

In a world which is shaped and governed by uncontrollable forces, the universe the artist creates for himself in Outline is filled with euphoria and magic.

Talk to me, 2023 (Ink and pigment pen on paper)

Talk to me, 2023 (Ink and pigment pen on paper)

A cascade of colours and motifs emerge within his artworks, representing vibrant townscapes and luscious tropics flowing from the artist’s psyche as he attempts to beautify his existence. This exercise in beautification is made all the more meaningful by the warmth and comfort he finds in his close-knit family, brought closer together in the artist’s alien surroundings by an invisible thread of connection in his compositions.

Gunarathne’s body of work draws upon a visual language often used to convey uncertainty, expressed through jagged jutting lines, irregular forms and imagery that defies reality and blends it with an explosive use of colours that fills it all with magic and poetry. The artist echoes the feelings of anticipation that accompany many immigrants who leave their structured familiar lives behind, to start anew.

The exhibition ends on June 18.

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