M.Vijitharan's body of work narrates the experiences of civilians of the Vanni in the north of Sri Lanka duringand post war. The artist utilizes objects and forms from their story to create drawings and installations that act as a narrative. His works titled Motherland objectify the man vertty with welded bullets and shell casings to narrate the story of displaced farmers who resiliently tried to work on the infertile land given to them post-war only to find the soil full of sand, shells, bullets and human skeletons.
'These objects no longer brought back the smell of paddy, they brought back the smell of war. Motherland creates a visual narrative of the story of Mullivaikal, also known as the White Flag Incident. At the very end stages to the Sri Lankan civil war it is believed that the LTTE used civilians as a shield to protect themselves while they hid in a 3km strip of land separated by a shallow sand bridge. As civilians were released theimage of hundreds crossing this strip, many carrying belongings with them, became a strong memory of this time.The shells in this installation feature drawings of belongings and life; the little illustrations symbolic of what these civilians left behind as they crossed a front line.
Vijitharan's work has been exhibited at the Saskia Fernando Gallery Colombo, Colomboscope 2016 curated by Natasha Ginawala and Menike Van der Poorten, Open Space Colombo curated by Raking Leaves and the Asia Art Archive and Watch This Space – an Art Raker and Groundviews collaboration.
Manoranjana Herath is currently the Head of Department of Sculpture at the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Colombo, Sri Lanka. He obtained his BFA in sculpture in 1997 from the University of Kelaniya and went on to complete his MFA at the College of Art, University of New Delhi, India. He received his Ph.D in 2011 from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. His work has been commissioned and collected by many art collectors both local and international.
His latest series of sculptures are titled Inner Sounds, addresses the interpersonal relationships among humans that have become complex and diverse. He explains how the majority of the present Sri Lankan lives have been positioned among vicious situations so as that trust and mutual understanding have become business now. Hearts neither suffer entirely nor are filled with soulful happiness today.
He forwards these forms of internal voices of the solitary soul discussion to the public for contemplation.