This exhibition continues themes begun in “Lassanai”. The legacies of colonialism, the inextricable bonds of religion, war and commerce within the course of history and contemporary life continue to intrigue me. As a counterpoint, I create meditations on beauty within these realms. Pattern is a strong leitmotif in this exhibition, delving beyond the purely ornamental. The “Atomizer Collection” re-interprets a hand grenade, an instrument of destruction as a vintage perfume atomizer, an object of beauty and scent. The “Shrine Series” presents a venerated spiritual and cultural icon, the stupa, as a “decor” item, its usual spare white exterior adorned with tapestries from various European aesthetic movements, symbols of cultural excess. The installation “26” consists of 26 pairs of hand-painted “flip-flop” slippers, each pair hand decorated in traditional floral motifs based on those found in Buddhist Temples, memorializing the recently ended 26 year Sri Lankan Civil War, and loss of life. “109: the Domestic and the Divine” consists of 109 suspended embroidery hoops of various sizes. Each represents a bead in the Buddhist Mala (Rosary). A found vintage doily, juxtaposed with a lotus design, and encircled by a repeated phrase (mantra) of my own making are reflections on dualities of life – the mundane and mystical, hope and despair. The hoops serve also to focus on the qualities of the handmade, a way of knowing the world, which can only be gained through working with our hands. It reminds us of our humanness. “Between Latitudes” is a reflection of my hybridity as a Sri Lankan born Canadian in articulating issues as I see it from this unique perspective, somewhere between the latitudes of Colombo and Toronto.
Read Anastasia Hare’s Blog on this Exhibition