‘Drafting Desire’ exhibition | Sunday Observer
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‘Drafting Desire’ exhibition

6 September, 2020

No matter how complex society is, no matter how technologically advanced, no matter how much new knowledge was gained, the role of the violin is never disqualified, so is the guitar, the piano, the flute, none of these instruments were eliminated. Although the technology of the electronic violin differs from that of the standard violin, the function is the same.

Those who play both types of violins have the same skill. But in comparison to music, after the 1990s, visual arts in Sri Lanka was reduced to mere effects and concepts and became superfluous. It seems unnatural and contradictory. This may be the reason why most contemporary artistes do not reveal the path of their art. In a context where the fundamental elements of visual art education have not been abolished in many western countries where free conceptual works of art are produced, even the practical test of admission to the Academy of Arts is being removed in line with the new wave of visual art in Sri Lanka. On the one hand, I wanted to re-explore the dynamics and emotions associated with the elements of visual art, in a context where visual art is dominated by semantic influences, and on the other hand, mere visual effects created by visual artistes with the help of a group of people. As I explored ‘the line’ in my previous exhibition, in this exhibition I tried to highlight the visual drafting.

When drawing with a piece of charcoal held in hand, the natural rhythm of the person doing it and the rhythm of the person’s trained hand as an artist are both being drafted on the surface of the canvas. This ‘drafting moment’ cannot be obtained from painting.

Nor is it something that can be obtained from multimedia materials. It is in the drawing. Here I am delighted with the drawing mode that feels this drafting moment.

Even the sound of baras baras when the charcoal sticks are rubbed on the paper is amazing to me. It is sheer satisfaction. Although it’s not similar to playing a violin, it also has a life and is very much personal. It is more subjective than objective. This exhibition is the result of my drafting jouissance.

- Sujith Ratnayake