Sura Medura 3
The final stage of our residency was focused on preparing for our Moving Out event. Overall, the day at Sunbeach was a wonderful combination of visual art, sound, sculpture, video, performance, people, food, beer, Arrack sour, sea, sand, laughing, chatting, sharing…and cake (what a fabulous day for a birthday!).
We were thrilled to have a good local crowd join us for the day, and also delighted that so many people came down from the Colombo Biennale and the University Faculty of Visual and Performing Arts to join us for some or all of the time.
In our exhibition, which combined some finished elements and work-in-progress, my sound work Sabda saha Pintura was available as a headphone installation.
The title Sabda saha Pintura means sound and picture in Sinhalese – through much discussion this seemed to be the most apt translation for the collage idea I was working with in the piece. Exploring differences in the English/Sinhalese languages was very intriguing – how or in what way metaphors or concepts translate, for example sound, soundscape, landscape, environment.
During the afternoon an audiovisual tuk yuk tour was running – a collaboration between Natahsa (Russell) and me. Three people at a time could hop into Sudu’s tuk yuk and take a short round trip to visit Natasha’s work in local shops accompanied by my soundtrack. Big thanks to Sudu and Chinthaka for running the tours.
The soundtrack combined recordings I gathered from those shops – people introducing themselves and their businesses, shop sounds etc – the general store, jewellers, barbers, a fruit and veg stall. I also recorded an introduction to the tour in Sinhalese, with pronunciation help from folk at Sunbeach.
Before a fantastic Sri Lankan curry banquet, I accompanied Samson Ogiamien with some live vocals for his performance piece with sculpture, which we had rehearsed in the lead up to the event.
Later in the final week we headed up the road for the Colombo Biennale. I was absolutely delighted to have been invited by Shereen Perera to perform a live score for Video Jam – an event running as part of the opening night.
My film extract came from the beautifully strange, thoughtful film Light in the Yellow Breathing Space by Vimukthi Jayasundara.
I still have much to reflect on – such a wonderful, thought-provoking time. Thanks to Neil and UZ, Chaminda, Chathura, Hasantha, Kary and all at Sunbeach, my fellow artists-in-residence, Maria and Jack, everyone I met.