Having arrived in Sri Lanka and Hikkaduwa at night, when I wake I’m suddenly struck by the amazingly beautiful surroundings, the ocean, the tress and plants. All around the town there are wonderful leaves, flowers, colourful houses, as I make my way to Sura Medura in the morning the bright, oranges, yellows and pinks are so vivid against the green shades, some look screen printed! A half hour cycle up the road in Dodanduwa, the new Sura Medua building stands monolithic in white on the edge on a lagoon, the most beautiful and peaceful surroundings. The vegetation sings to me, vibrancy, form and deep undulating shadows.
The political upheaval in in full swing and many people are rallying in Colombo, I’ll provide some links for more information on this below, this situation, the abuse of powers, government and corruption will undoubtedly have a huge impact to us all while we work.
The residency space is still being built for the first week or so, but we get started with tours of the area, working together and meeting with the Sri Lankan artists. The Sri Lankan artists are here to work with a team from UK, France, Italy and Czech, their objective is to create a ‘format’ for a new show, The Snowball Effect, that will be re-created in many countries. Part of my residency I have to work for 2 weeks in collaboration, so I’ll join them for 2 of my 6 weeks here.
I spend the first week, traveling around the local area meeting people and learning where/what and how I will find/work with materials. Sudu takes me to visit The Jungle Batik Shop, and there I meet with an artist and craft maker to learn and research methods of batik and fabric dying. He’s very very busy and he is working alone at home in a very small work shop so I’m hoping that he will have space and time to teach or show me some small elements of his design/creation process.