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Official Artists of The Noble Sage | Artworks | North London | Belsize Park
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Anoma

Colombo, Sri Lanka Born 1951
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Acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree and a Masters Degree at Central St. Martins College of Art, London in 1973 and 1974 respectively; Has regularly lectured at Central St. Martins College and other important Sri Lankan and British art institutions since 1979


Selected Solo Exhibitions

Quest, The Fort Printers, Galle, Sri Lanka (2007); Stella Downer Fine Art, Sydney, Australia (2005); Paradise Road Galleries Online Exhibition, Colombo (2004); Havelock Place Gallery, Colombo (2002); Paradise Road Galleries, Colombo (2002); Art Heritage, New Delhi (2002); Gallery Taksu, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1999); Solo Exhibition, Barefoot Gallery, Colombo (1993)


Selected Group Exhibitions

Victoria & Albert Museum, London (1981)


Selected Awards

Received an artist award from Libertys of London in 1974 and in 1975 from the UK Craft Council

'But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all. Once for each thing. Just once; no more. And we too, just once. And never again.But to have been this once, completely, even if only once: to have been one with the earth, seems beyond undoing'. - Rainer Maria Rilke


'In the works there is a relationship between surface and depth that is sought and destroyed; and a layering and juxtaposing of elements which mirrors the interplay between time and nature. Each layer reflects a level of meaning and is open to multiple interpretations. Images, figures, pathways are highlighted and fractured as some rise insistently to the foreground; others sink elusively into the background.' - Anoma


'Human insecurities, greed and conflicts blur the boundaries between reason and passion and explode the tensions that exist withinall of us. We create and destroy in our search for immortality, never accepting life's unalterable fact - impermanence.' - Anoma

It is hard not to describe Sri Lankan artist, Anoma's mixed media work in terms of its poetic resonance for the viewer. Reading the qualities of her paintings invokes the writings of Rilke (a constant reference of the artist) as well as other poets such as Coleridge, Keats, Blake and Wordsworth. All writers and poets who have explored the connection between different worlds: our internal world and nature, the material world versus the spiritual realm. Pivotal to Anoma's art was her time spent in London during her studentship at Central St. Martins College: 'I was hugely influenced by theatre, opera, poetry, literature, the English countryside,the wilder side of it, cultural input that was and is still very important to me'. Nature in the artist's mind became swept into the arts and visa versa. Anoma's compositions often grow organically, the starting spur sometimes being a figures delineation in her notebook, a photograph that haunts her from her cluttered studio wall or a riveting line of poetry read recently or a year ago. Slowly the flow of the work strengthens as she progresses, like a river running through the work itself taking her along in the current. Her medium changes all the time throughout: from pencil to pastel, watercolour to oil pastel and back again. The surface of the image becomes increasingly layered with subtle colour, lines removed, planes of texture created (either through thin transparent sheets of tissue paper or through tonal play with her different media) and areas of shading subtracted by cloth or by hand. Each layer for the artist reflects a layer of meaning. It is ambiguous when her motifs of flying birds, open doorways, boats, pathways, streams of water and outlines of figures (symbols of human migration, physical, psychological and metaphysical) appear in the process. Their conception, however, is completely natural to the finished psychic landscape. Any depicted mortals seem sad and lost somehow, trapped in a foreign land somewhere between dream and reality, their own abstraction and realistic representation, the spiritual and the material, the pure and the corrupt, time and space. Her technique has been further honed in this new series titled 'Transformation: Rites of Passage'. Each work's palette is engrossing: we flit from a dark moody black-red to a light relieving sky blue, from restraint to crescendos of intensity. It seems emblematic of our changeable emotional temperament as fallible human beings. Anoma writes: 'All rites of passage, whether they be physical journeys, intellectual pursuits, emotional traumas or spiritual quests, seem to involve three separate stages: the often painful separation from the old state, the disorientating but limited period without definition and, finally, the eventual release into the new element, new life or idea, in a new form.' To the viewer, each work is a labyrinth, an insistence on the viewer to aid the hidden figure to an opening, an exit, an answer or a revelation, to force a journey. This is the rite of passage set for us, one that will free the contained, free us in turn, and, one might add, liberate Anoma herself from her search for the intangible.

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