The Spiritual Aritist
Born in 1971, She was sent to art school as she was considered an introvert. She placed herself in a corner in order not to show her work; never happy with her paintings, she used to hide her works of art.
She was inspired by Cora Abrahams and Nilanthi Weereratne-she was inspired by the conversations she had with them about art and books. (fascinating)
(Anjalendran was a big fan especially during her early years, He sold a lot of her paintings during that time.)
Cora Abraham, a famous art teacher in Colombo took her in as a special child, because her father was in the military.
Druvinka was introduced to many artists and their work by Ms. Abraham; she especially liked TURNER. His paintings of landscapes and the sea — she thought his paintings very mysterious– She was given blank canvases by Cora who said, “Be Free, Druvinka. Be Free! Express yourself!
Druvinka showed exceptional control and hand movement. It was then that her work went up on the walls and was exhibited in a small way.
She had her first solo exhibition at the Galadari Meridian. Arlene (her mum) and Druvinka organized an exhibition because she got a lot of praise and encouragement from her teachers, mentors, peers and other artists. She spent some time in Manchester, she submitted her portfolio of landscapes and was accepted (Manchester University, Portfolio of Landscapes. )
She graduated from Visaka, went to Manchester and then applied to Shanthineketan (got in and went) Why paint and make a living? “Because even if I have to be on the road I will try and make it” to the best of my ability. When she draws the character, the essence, of her inspired content comes through, other than a photographic message. I cannot get rid of the innermost feelings even now. Soul, essence and skill. Unlike early on, she is not at all inhibited by society or shyness.
Druvinka is spontaneous in her approach to her art, never scared of pressing oil colour onto canvas until something comes up. She paints in layers.
“Shanthineketen showed me the truth; India, Incredible India. One cannot bullshit your way through. Out went cushioning, the comfort of Colombo – In India she confronted reality – Felt small. A nobody. So you have to make it work. A survivor. Classmates left me alone, batch mates never exhibited, but Druvinka had experience. She kept to herself gathering information (an introvert) I didn’t know anything, spoke only when she knew the answers.
Druvinka is now secure in her art.—At Shanthineketen she met her husband, Bodh, a super artist and teacher, who controlled her totally. Bodh and a few others, made up a group called “We are International 1998.” They projected their work onto city walls and trees.
You are a great artist, I think you should work” You are a working artist, Bodh criticized her work, made her work, to make it better. She exhibited at the Lionel Wendt in 1995 and 1996. Druvinka is competent in pottery, sculpture, printmaking, textile design, painting, history of art, western, far eastern, and indian.
Druvinka chose to exhibit at Gallery 706 in 1996 where she showed her Embryo series.
This was soon followed by:
· Refugee series
· Karmic forces,
· Beneath beyond
For Druvinka the process is crucial. She paints on raw canvas, bamboo paper, and rice paper. She paints gods, goddesses, the universe, the afterlife. These ideas, these expansive themes are weighty to comprehend. To try and fit them in it is essential that she uses large canvases. The largest Barefoot has exhibited are paintings 15ft * 6ft. in size. Not for the faint-hearted.
Today, she paints on 1*1 canvases and paper but only for practical reasons. Even though the work is small, the concepts remain large.
Without the darkness there is no light, dark and light work together — however, dark –eventually light comes out. However much you play with dark, the dark is only used for light to shine. Light is powerful it has to come. Think Leonard Cohen: There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.
I have learnt through my Sadana to keep nothing inside, only the moment of being, so it is to becoming childlike, wisdom with no knowledge, It’s not possible to connect with the spirit world without being empty.
I no longer paint but only my body is used as an instrument for channeling from above, to the canvas, so whatever appears is original and a message. Pathal means the underworld… one of the three worlds
Sadana is sacrificing certain things in life and sitting in meditation till you achieve something that you were searching for. Tantra is `connected to dark and light and represents the cycle of life, which is called: Samsara.
Whatever Druvinka indulges in comes out in her paintings.
The 5 elements: water, earth, sky, fire and air, this is the magic and god. That’s what we are made of in illusionary world. The universal truth is Satyam, Shivom, and Sundaram.
Satyam means truth, Shivom is never dying soul, and Sundaram is the beauty of it all.
The spiritual and happy artist; DRUVINKA.
Nazreen Sansoni as told to by Druvinka.