COLOMBOSCOPE 2024, Meet The Artists: Dumiduni Illangasinghe

Jan 16 2024.

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The eighth edition of the interdisciplinary art festival Colomboscope will be held from 19-28 January across Colombo. Colomboscope's “Way of the Forest” is shaped with over 40 Sri Lankan and international artists and collectives and is interwoven with a cross-section of programmes, conversations, excursions, performances, workshops and other experiences. Colomboscope 2024 is curated by Hit Man Gurung, Sheelasha Rajbhandari, Sarker Protick, and artistic director Natasha Ginwala. Meet some of the artists for Way of the Forest as they talk to us about their work for the festival.

Questions  

1. Tell us a little about yourself?

2. Describe your work for Colomboscope 2024 and its ties with the theme - Way of the Forest.

3. What’s the inspiration behind the work?

4. What is your signature style in your art?

5. What are you looking forward to at Colomboscope and what do you hope people would take away from your work?

 

1. I’m a visual artist originally from Anuradhapura and currently based in  Colombo. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Visual and Performing Arts,  Colombo, in 2023. My artwork is characterized by exploring contemporary practices influenced by nature’s beauty. I strive to capture human emotions through tangible elements and draw inspiration from my uncle’s art practices.

2. My installation for Colomboscope 2024 is titled “Whispering Resilience: Mycelium’s Dance” and it is an exploration of mushrooms. It’s a visual homage to the hidden world below our feet, symbolizing the forest’s regenerative processes. Aligning with the theme, the exhibit highlights the intricate choreography of mycelium, emphasizing nature’s deep resilience. Through this, I aim to evoke a stronger connection to the forest’s vibrant life dance, the realm of fungi, to have a closer look at mycelium networks and how these reveal the interconnectedness of all living entities on the earth’s surface. This interconnectedness mirrors the complex web of human beings’ cognitive processes.

3. My fascination with the unseen world beneath us inspired me. Mycelium, representing life in forests, became a metaphor for resilience. Observing fungi’s dance and their role in ecosystem rejuvenation inspired me to explore nature’s interconnectedness.

4. In my art, I cultivate a distinctive signature by intertwining holistic and naturopathic themes,  exploring the profound connection between the human psyche, microbiota, and botanical and mineral elements. Through installations, I embrace paper for its translucency and fleshiness, bringing a sculptural dimension to my work. The enchanting fragility and uncanny presence of mycelium further define my signature style.  

5. My signature style involves exploring nature’s beauty. At Colomboscope, I hope to prompt contemplation of nature’s intricacies. I want visitors to appreciate ecosystems’ interconnectedness,  especially the resilience symbolized by mycelium. My art delves into the intimate bond between human mental states, environmental factors, and the healing potential of nature, with a special focus on the role of fungi. Ultimately, in this artwork, fungi symbolize life’s complexity, inspiring purpose through transformative change. My goal is to inspire awe for the mycelium kingdom, foster a bond with nature,  and prompt reflection on our role in environmental preservation.

Pix Courtesy Dumiduni Illangasinghe


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Panchali Illankoon

Law Graduate, food and travel enthusiast and full time dog mom..

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