The Galle Literary Festival brings the Galle Fort alive in the first two months of the year and it is for this reason that the Amangalla, a boutique hotel, formerly the Ne Oriental Hotel, opens its doors to the public for talks and workshops during the GLF. In the public spaces and some generally closed areas the Saskia Fernando Gallery has curated an exhibition for the past two years and now for the third year running a two man show featuring a young illustrator and sculpture will be staged.
Prageeth Manohansa is a name that has become so closely affiliated with the assembled works of art spotted throughout houses, villas and hotels throughout the island. This 33 year old artist studied in Benares and Sri Lanka after which he began working on various masks and God statues made with old car parts. After three years of working with Manohansa, this local sculptor has built a name for himself internationally, recently being featured in a calendar printed by Nuage Branding of Indonesia and locally, completing his biggest installation to-date at the new Courtyard Hotel in central Colombo. His work belongs to collections worldwide. This sustainable art form that Manohansa uses appeals to a variety of collectors, not only for their sensitivity to movement and form but their changing nature as outdoor sculpture creates an effect which transforms. The series being exhibited by Manohansa at the Amangalla hotelare life size and oversized Kaputa's (Crows), placed throughout the stunning colonial property and suspended from its verandah roofs.
His work is complimented by a new entry into the contemporary art scene, the young Mika Tennekoon, who was introduced to us through our quarterly event, Pecha Kucha Colombo. Tennekoon presented her work as an illustrator and the simple translation of day-to-day and emotional events into beautifully constructed illustrations inspired us to work with the artist again a few months later on Paper Canvas, a limited edition poster show. Tennekoon has been involved in projects such as the Secret Garden Party and Whale of a time in the UK. Locally she has cooridnated Galle Literary Festival workshops, been involved in Colombo Fashion Week and now belongs to a collective named COCA (Collective of Contemporary Artists). Tennekoon works with multiple mediums such as photography, digital sketches and installation but it is her small sketchbook drawings that appealed to this exhibition as a contrast to the metal pieces by Manohansa. These works will be framed and placed at the entrance of the show, leading the audience towards the installations.