Werewolf in Nuwara Eliya

That night in Nuwara Eliya
When Dom and I stumbled
Into the Grand, we had just re-met
And every moment was precious.
It took us ten minutes to find the bar
It was cold for Nuwara eliya and we
Needed a drink, desperately.
A single malt for Dom and a Port
For me. This was in 1993,

I turned towards the barman to place our order
And stopped, shocked. Next to us was the most
Extraordinary man I had ever seen, he was approx.
7ft tall. His ears were pointy, nearly as large as his head
A beard that tapered to a degree
His sideburns, thick, wide, designed
Angled to his mouth
A sweet smile. It was disconcerting.
Basically, your friendly neighborhood werewolf.
He bought us a round of drinks and
Seemed very glad to meet us.
We drank with him up to a point.

Said our goodbyes
And staggered outside into a sea
Of mist. It must have been midnight
the moon was full.
Shining bright with light
To show us the way
To the car-
we drunkenly
Drove the windy
Road back to the club.

Quietly distressed by the
Meeting of the man
Who looked like a wolf.

 

N.S.

June 2017

 

Sweater Weather

 

 

Short days in Michigan

When the leaves turn to

colours of the earth.

 

The old man mowing his lawn

Wearing his slate cashmere v-neck with

holes under the arms, has never bothered

to get the thing darned.

 

Billy used the season to shoot

He would walk out into the woods with his Colt 45

Looked for Rabbit, Deer, if lucky, a Bear.

He wore a brown, round, wool neck sweater

that kept him warm.

It also camouflaged him really well.

 

No-one mentioned the time he was down by

The creek – – a body floated up, face down–

bloated and gross from being in the river for over

A week.

The sheriff hushed It up,

Billy was his son, you see.

 

The Sheriff wore a red lambswool sweater

to suggest authority, or perhaps, danger? and to keep visible.

He was beautiful to look at – A Cary Grant—with manners.

How us County people respected him.

The sole reason we never pursued the body story.

His word was Final.

 

Me, Autumn in Michigan, meant road trips—a six pack of

Molson in the car;  Ruben sandwiches and my best girlfriend.

We’d sing to Joni Mitchell and Carol King—perfect tunes for a fall sunset

that seemed to last forever. At night, Deborah Harry

blasted from the CD deck the stars shining brightly.

 

We did not need the moon or headlights to show us the way.

My girlfriend wore her purple sweater, made of Angora.

It smelled of Opium. I wore a cashmere jersey

in lime green.

 

We drove for days hitting the west coast

Got down at Full Moon Beach.

Threw our sweaters off,

and with it, our angst spinning emotions

Jumped nude into the Pacific Ocean

 

The water was cold.

We could very well had been swimming in

Lake Michigan—but,

It was worth it.

For the Road Trip.

2261 miles of it.

NS May 7th 2017.

Machine I loved

A low slung Volks

turbo charged, fast

(naturally)

did 130 miles on

the Arugumbay

Moneragala road

‘A poor man’s porsche’

my friend said.

Leonard Cohen crooning

as we looked

at the mountains

whizzing by

light poured in

the driver seat

comfortable enough to

race in.

I down shifted to third

then, back to fourth, fifth

as we turned the corner

on two wheels

the car did a one eighty

and smashed against

the hillside

we poured out

stunned, bruised, bleeding

we were ok

the car ok, too

German engineering

I thought

I loved this car

I was biased

Thank god we weren’t

driving the Prius.

NS FEB 13, 2017

‘ Ape Gama’ an exhibition by THEERTHA International Artists’ Collective

SONY DSC

TH_‘In our village’-synopsi for leaflet-1-final

Stepping Out. Recent paintings by KAY BEADMAN

Stepping Out – Notes on Technique

As I prepared for this exhibition, Barefoot Gallery Director Nazreen and I engaged in a stimulating dialogue across the time zones – thank goodness for the wonders of skype! One aspect of our talk was my painting technique and these notes are a distillation of Nazreen interviewing me on this topic.

Subjects
The subjects in the Stepping Out series are all painted from life without using photographs or found images. These are real shoes and objects that are borrowed, bought or belong to me. Sometimes when I have a particular idea in mind it means searching the markets of Hong Kong to find the perfect teapot, toy or crystal ball! My studio is increasingly filled with an eclectic collection of objects which may one day find their way into a painting.

Composition
Arranging the composition is critical. The still lives can take hours of moving the individual objects in relation to each other, changing the viewpoint and trying different lighting options so the reflections and shadows fall as integral parts of the overall composition. Although the single shoes in the series stand alone without relation to another object in the picture plane, they were still carefully angled and lit until the composition worked.

Medium
I use acrylic paints for their versatility and because they mix with water and I prefer not to use other solvents. They can be thinned to watercolour consistency or used like oils but they have a very quick drying time. This enables me to work in layers in rapid succession. As I like to focus on one painting at a time and work solely on that until it feels finished, this saves me from having to set it aside to dry for days between layers of painting.

Painting techniques
Where a high level of realism is required, I use a traditional oil painting technique. This starts with a monochrome, tonal underpainting. For this stage the image is painted fairly accurately in just one colour with dark, mid and light tones. I usually use a burnt sienna for this with added white for the highlights. It looks something like an old sepia photograph at this point. Then colours are added in thin layers or glazes over the top. This technique allows for the build up of subtle gradations of colour and can give the effect of letting light reflect outward from the object, creating a luminosity that is hard to achieve otherwise.

In other areas, in the single shoe series for example, I want to contrast the high illusion of the depicted object with the very flat 2D picture plane itself. These flat backgrounds look simple but to achieve the matt finish and the intensity of colour, there are between four to eight layers of paint, often with different colours in the underlayers which subtly effect the final tone.

Palette
A final word should go to the palette. In my initial training in sculpture, colour was never a major consideration, I was mainly interested in form. When I moved to painting, colour became important but was still limited to a fairly neutral palette. The catalyst that changed my colour sensibility was the experience of coming to Sri Lanka. In the decade I have been visiting Sri Lanka, the paintings have taken on a vibrancy of colour that has become a key component in my work.

Kay Beadman, March 2012

Feels like so long ago.

Nelun Harasgama has been painting ever since she can remember. As a girl she
took classes at the renowned Melbourne Art School, founded by Cora Abrahams.
There, Nelun developed her skills, guided by her wonderful teachers, Mrs. Latifa Ismail
and Noeliene Fernando. Ms.Ismail enjoyed taking her students out of the classroom to explore Colombo.
The Vihra Maha Devi Park, The Beaches, Galle face Green. It was
outdoors that Ms. Ismail had her students sit down to paint. Nelun loved it.

After finishing school at Ladies College in 1977, Nelun went to the
University of Trent to learn the fundamentals of design. In 1981 she left with a degree
in Graphic Visual Communication. Six months after returning to Sri-Lanka, Nelun joined JWT,
and for next ten years she worked in advertising, including short stints at Masters,
Ribbs, Shri Communications and Grants.

In 1991,she decided to leave the advertising industry and
and joined Barefoot as a designer of fabric and clothes.
Today she works on her own terms, freelancing for a number of clients.
She paints in between her role as mother, wife, designer of books and freelancing as
creative director for various ad campaigns, all conceived and
designed by her.

Nelun’s first exhibition was as a contributor to a group show in 1984 at the
Lionel Wendt . The group consisted of five artists, students
of Lafita Ismail’s adult classes. Michael Anthonis, Sharmaine Mendis were
partcipants (Nelun cannot remember the other two).

Nelun Harasgama’s forthcoming exhibition at the Barefoot Gallery highlight
her characteristic tall, thin people, and stark landscapes.
This time, the landscape focus is on Hambantota Bay. The paintings;
sombre in tone, colored a blue-black hue. Hambantota is where (when not in Colombo),
she spends time with her husband,Luxshman, and delightful one of a kind daughter Aringa.

Those of you who know her work will recognise the current series of
paintings. Nelun painted similar figures and exhibited her work
in 1994 at the Hermitage Gallery and, thereafter, at Gallery 706 and
the Barefoot Gallery.

In the year 2000, Nelun moved to concentrate on painting landscapes and
the changing environment. The paintings that were exhibited consisted of ethereal
images of a landscape that is vanishing due to our
lack of “care and concern.” A landmark exhibition at the Barefoot
Gallery in 2001, titled “wounding, requiem and mourning,” was the result of the
frustration of being witness to the “wounding, death, and
the mourning” of a landscape which is fast disappearing.
These paintings are depicted in red, black and white an allegorical
reference to our wanton scarring of our countryside.

Nelun was angry at what mankind was doing to the land, trees,
jungles. All of a sudden, she did not care much about people and their
blatant disregard of the environment, their natural habitat.

The Dec. 26, 2004 tsunami changed that. Following the distaster, her love of people
overshadowed her concern for the land and her anger dissipated.
Once again,figures feature prominently. Spurred by the extraordinary number of lives
lost that day – especially in her beloved Hambantota – Nelun saw her
“vanishing people” literally vanish — swept with the wave–
displaced, lost, despite the rebuilding efforts.

Where is the Amma wearing the Reddha and Hatte sweeping the veranda?
She paints these people so we will remember them. In the end, she
paints these images again and again, because she does not want to forget
them and she does not want us to forget them.
Why does she not paint us? “We are horrid,” she says. “We do not stay in one
place long enough to be painted.”

To the viewer, Nelun’s work is a reminder of how it was once – these people will
never be part of our lives today. This realization saddens Nelun. It saddens me.
Our generation, especially those of us who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s
nostalgically refer to a time when life was simple and the
answers to our questions seemed simple. This may be the reason we deeply
mourn deaths of loved ones in their 70’s and 80’s. They represent a different era,
values and morals were unwavering and a gentle and civilised way of life
was the name of the game. Intelligence in whatever form, was deep and true.

But who are we to question this generation in transition? We need to
take what we know and what we’ve learned and move bravely toward the
future. Our children depend on it. We have to; to keep sane, and to
make sense of it all.

This gentle reminder by Nelun, when we view her
paintings may be the catalyst that we need.

A piece on Nelun Harsagama written in 2005 re posted here in the hope she will grace our gallery with an exhibition.

Nazreen Sansoni
Aug. 2005

Round the Potholes

Press Release

The Directors of the Barefoot Gallery in association with the Embassy of Switzerland present: Round the Potholes – Photo Exhibition by Joel Sames

BAREFOOT Gallery Colombo
704 Galle Road
Colombo-3

Opening 24th February – 7.30 pm to 9.30pm
Show runs 25th – 26th February 2012
Saturday 10am – 7pm , Sunday 11am to 5pm

Swiss photographer Joel Sames has been following Street Culture activities around the globe. His photographs allow an inside view into the skateboarding, breakdance and Hip-Hop scenes of Afghanistan, India and Cambodia. Joel especially focuses on programs and organizations using the empowering qualities of those subcultures in the field of development cooperation and peace work.

Joel recently graduated as a postindustrial designer / interaction manager at the Academy of Arts and Design in Basel. His thesis analyzes the possibilities of Street Cultures as a tool in conflict transformation and to empower kids from poor backgrounds.He held talks and presentations at events as the Frankfurt Book Fare, the Asian Pacific Weeks Berlin, the Archive of Youth Cultures and the European University of Voluntary Service.

Opening Event
The opening event at Barefoot Gallery Colomboon Friday 24th February will feature talks and videos about the projects in Afghanistan, India and Cambodia

Joel Samessupports and represents several NGO`s which are using Street Cultures as a tool:

Skateistan– Skateboardingschool Afghanistan, http://www.skateistan.org
Tiny Toones– Hip Hop Drop-in Center Cambodia, http://www.tinytoones.org
Tiny Drops – Hip Hop Breakdance Centre India http://www.tinydrops.org

Downloads:
Press Images: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11105215/Round%20the%20Potholes%20PRESS%20IMAGES.zip
Flyers:http://dl.dropbox.com/u/11105215/Round%20the%20Potholes%20Flyers%20COLOMBO%20.zip

For more information please call:

NazreenSansoni
Director
Barefoot Gallery Colombo
barefootgallery@gmail.com
+94 11 2505559

Joel Sames
info@joelsames.ch
+94 776868026

microcosom

Buttala, South Sri Lanka
Me, american pancakes, blue jeans.
Appuhami, rotis. sarongs.
British, Sri-Lankan children
wait

To eat breakfast.
Daub and Wattle, Illuk Roof
wood fire
I whisk the batter

I-pod on Leonard Cohen
Croons; “Love gone wrong’
Appropriate.
For the moment.

I am lost
earphones in music
carries me away
to another place
congruence and context
(at home anywhere)

It’s all in the making of it.

LoVE

Did we love each other
to end up
so mad, hurt and shy

that

work overtakes love
children overtake love
phone rings overtake love
is our love not deep
enough
for our souls
crying

for pol sambol

Instead we shun
the longing
to be real,
to manifest

the gentleness
kind thoughtful
tenderness

erotic
urges
relieve
us

I guess
that’s enough
to distract our

LOVE.