Launch of Raking Leaves in Colombo

Raking Leaves, originally uploaded by nazreen.sansoni.

In March 2008, Sharmini Periera launched her new publishing imprint, Raking Leaves at Art Dubai, and at London’s Serpentine Gallery. Founder and sole operator of this non-profit organization based in London and Colombo, Pereira plans the publishing venture as a curatorial project, complex and unique to the artist or artists, with a different designer working on each project. Pereira envisions the books as unique pieces without formal introductions or scholarly essays, rather than as catalogs.
She is interested in establishing a way of working with artists that uses paper as a means through which their ideas can be gathered and distributed, hoping that distributing artwork in the form of relatively affordable books will allow these artists projects to reach a wider audience.

For Pereira, the medium of the book solves the problems of producing an exhibition in one fixed place. These portable art projects can overcome the complications and restrictions of working with international artists, such as those in her native Sri Lanka, where political unrest presents a challenge to curators looking to organize exhibitions or long-term projects. Pereira’s second printed project, The one year drawing project: May 2005- October 2007, is a response to the uncertain lives of a group of Sri Lankan artists. This project required the four participating artists, Muhammad Cadre, Thamortharampillai Sanathanan, Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Jagath Weerasinghe, to each start a series of A$-sized drawings, sending them to other members of the group, who then responded with further new drawings. Like a well-choreographed version of the Surrealist game, exquisite corpse, the one year drawing project followed a mapped-out system of interaction and communication that culminated in 52 drawings. Through the process itself and the unreliability of the Sri Lankan postal service extended the project to two and a half years, these collaborative drawings tell a fascinating story. They communicate the violent turmoil affecting the artists, all of them painters largely unable to exhibit due to displacement by the island’s civil conflict or the breakdown of the gallery system.”

Excerpt taken from Art Asia Pacific May/June 2008 edition
By Eliza Gluckman

Launch at the Barefoot Gallery on Monday August 25th at 7:00 pm

Games we Play (Under the Coconut Trees)

“They never say to you, ‘what does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?’ Instead, they demand ‘How old is he? How many brothers have he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?”
Antoine de Saint-Expiry

Games We Play sets this error straight. This art show looks at the games we love. Games We Play is a series of works on paper; an introspective study of card and board games infused with tropical pop bravado of South Asia and Californian sensibility by artist Josephine Balakrishnan. As a child games teach us to risk, barter, and fearlessly communicate. We learn the price of winning and losing to relationships. Because Cards, Monopoly, Chess, Risk and Bridge occupy our psychic energy it is fitting that we give these games homage. Because games pattern us we need to see the threads of our personality beneath the pattern.

Games We Play combines the world each game lures us into and the meaning we glean from it. In the 60’s psychologist Eric Berne wrote The Games People Play showing relationships as a series of repetitive transactions that provide pay offs. There are positive games and negative games. Unconsciously repeating a negative behavior is not necessary once we see the game. Acknowledging what we have gained from games is equally as important. Therefore Games We Play uses game archetypes with humor and decorum simultaneously. Card and board games that appear insignificant loom with meaning. Perhaps in the future wars will only take place on a risk board. Perhaps lovers will be required to play bridge before they are allowed to marry.

Ms Balakrishnan has worked for over 20 years combining the South Asian palate with California and Sri Lankan imagery. She has shown in three continents and her work has sold in major museum stores (Guggenheim, National Gallery, Museum of Modern Art New York, Chicago Art institute, etc.).

opening reception: August 21st, 7-9 pm
exhibition remains open till September 7th

A Tribute to a teacher- Ms. Cora Abraham

The barefoot gallery hosted an exhibition of paintings donated by artists, teachers, painters and designers who are and were students of the Cora Abraham art classes 1949-2008. This exhibition was organised to raise funds for the school, which is in need of financial resources to help continue the excellent work and development of the classes. Overall, it was a great success and for anyone interested, there are paintings left over from the exhibit for purchase to help overcome their present financial difficulties.