3. ARTIST STATEMENT
I am drawn to storytelling in an attempt to capture the naivety of original thought. For me this manifests itself visually in the form of objects, drawings, text, action and handmade replicas; items that when placed together begin to elucidate meaning and conjure up images of a past history. Through simple means I can then begin a transformation to rebuild space and time through its emotional qualities.
In these stories I am trying to make sense of an irrational world and this constantly brings me back to the ideas of exploration, the landscape and the feeling of ‘foreignness’. I believe that the world we inhabit from the proximity of our bed to the wall, to the volcanoes in the pacific make us who we are; Through my work I seek to reconnect with this world,approaching it from the view of an explorer seeing it for the first time and turning its naive qualities into something strange and wonderful.
I am obsessive about collecting, and about making; the alchemic procedure from object to artefact. I am intuitively drawn to those actions and materials with insulating and protective properties: fragments of text, rhymes, newspaper cuttings all printed on paper, or a drawing, perhaps of a lion to be put together with a monkey’s body, the shell of a beetle in a matchbox, soap, bread, a view of sunshine, a tea cup and the sound of a sewing machine. I am delighted by the fact that object and action can become a portable symbol of its larger meaning.
My current practice has developed from a theatrical background that has delved into and enriched these ideas, and has in part, been led by my cultural standpoint. I cannot help but approach my work from the position of a first generation Sri-Lankan British citizen (an object of the Empire?). It is un-doubtedly coloured by my memories of attending a British school as a child of a Sri-Lankan ex-patriot living in Abu Dhabi. My fictional and historic memories based on a romantic idea of the exotic: of a pre-history in Sri–Lanka. All of which are leading me to try and recreate the wonder of exploration and at the same time subvert its traditions and histories combining fiction and fact. To discover somewhere an Indian elephant emerging out of a snail shell.