Dec 17 2021. views 177
Geoffrey Bawa: ‘It is Essential to be There’ is the first major exhibition that draws from the archives to look at Bawa’s practice. Organised in four thematic sections, exploring relationships between ideas, drawings, buildings, and places, the exhibition explores the different ways in which images were used in Bawa’s practice. Over 120 documents from the Bawa archives, most of which have never been shown publicly previously, will be on view, including a section on unbuilt work and Bawa’s own photographs from his travels.
Geoffrey Bawa’s distinct practice as an architect began with the purchase of an abandoned rubber and cinnamon estate, which he would transform into the garden that is now Lunuganga, in 1948 – in the wake of the country’s newly gained independence from the British Empire. From this very first project, Bawa’s oeuvre is marked by architecture that seeks to understand the notion of place. In a practice so attuned to the generative aspects of place, drawings play a complex role. These works show the particularity of each project’s location and the explorations undertaken by the practice to explore site across them any layers of culture, history, and environment that characterise a place beyond its position on a map.
Although Bawa’s work has been exhibited at multiple venues in the UK, USA, Australia, India, Brazil, Singapore, and Germany, this is the first exhibition on Bawa’s work to be shown in Sri Lanka. The exhibition is curated by the Geoffrey Bawa Trust’s curator Shayaride Silva and includes new photographs and video works by Sebastian Posingis, Dominic Sansoni, and Clara Kraft Isono. The Geoffrey Bawa Trust is a non-profit, public trust that was established in 1982 by the late architect, with the objectives of furthering the fields of Architecture, the Fine Arts, and Ecological and Environmental Studies.
This exhibition received generous financial support from the primary partner Kohler, local partners Nations Trust Private Banking and Crystal Property Group, JAT Holdings, and venue partner Park Street Mews.
Images: © Lunuganga Trust