Within the field of contemporary art, there seems to be an increased widening of social inequality. In recent years, fine art is somewhat limited to large scale exhibitions, museums and galleries that are accessible to a certain social strata. My attempt is to involve various communities and make a space for them to exhibit their work. I argue that the perspective provided by this framework enables meaningful knowledge that can cross disciplines and reveal insights about the complexities in the ways of seeing art and art education in the global system. This highlights the roles that art and cultural practices can play in shaping our understanding of complex societal assemblages.
The exhibition process included a day-long workshop, where we invited artists and participants to create work in response to their curiosity and the given space.
For the workshop, I chose Wanathamulla, which is located in the prison border and marginalized for many years for its violence, drugs and failures in state disciplinary mechanisms. The first generation of Wanathamulla included labourers from the Port and other leading constructions of the capital city of Colombo. However in the recent years, the current generation has emerged into a culture where people share resources, space and live amidst diverse races peacefully. The project is quite timely for such a generation.
I plan to continue a series of workshops of a similar nature along with Theertha in specific areas and communities.
Loafing of Art is an exhibition designed to further explore:
• Discourse on space: Introspect and focus on how space is consumed.
• Connect: Give an opportunity to connect between different communities, cultures and ages
• Art making and creativity: Explore artmaking through creative, novel and unconventional ways.
• Thinking and skills for everyday life: Provide a set of experience and skills, which would be beneficial in future life engagements or professions; Creative thinking, art/ craft practices.
Nadini Thakshila, 10
Nadil Theekshana, 11
Oshadi Withana, 12
Shiran Mohommed, 7
Pasindu Sankalpa, 9
Hiruni Sepalika, 11
Tharushi Imasha, 12
Nataliya Perera, 6
Prakash Sathasivam, 10