COLOMBOSCOPE 2024: Meet The Artists

Jan 23 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 and Sarker Protick together with 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? 

Pankaja Withanachchi & Roshan De Selfa

1. Pankaja: I am a computer engineer/maker/experimenter. Building things off and on the computer has always been a part of my life and right now, I’m exploring my role in the intersection of arts and technology. I am a founding member of TechArtICT, a Wichita Kansas-based collective which creates and installs interactive and immersive artwork. 
Roshan: I am an art director and concept artist with a background in digital media- game development being foundational to my growth as a designer. Storytelling is an integral aspect of my creative process and projects that require worldbuilding through character and environment design have always captured my interest. 

2. Ecophora uses custom laser-cut stencils around various forms of moving LED lights. Sonar-based sensors track the movement of visitors through the space and channel behaviours through mesh-networked hardware distributed around the space. This project was inspired by cross-disciplinary exchange and the pop-culture mythology of human-nature coexistence and an experiment in exchanging methods for mutual learning. 

3. Pankaja’s original concept was an installation inspired by the dynamic lighting elements of a traditional Thorana. This evolved over the course of several months and iterations in an exchange of ideas between Pankaja and Roshan before arriving in its current form - a narrative we hope you can experience.

4. Pankaja: My values in new media art revolve around community, collaboration and experimentation. Working with other artists to learn from how they think and use their tools gives life to new experiments that eventually turn into projects. 
Roshan: I love the concept of inviting discussion and debate through playful and satirical work. I'm attempting to use graphic design and illustrative character design to this end; I doodle concepts of contention between contemporary and traditional views to create TechnoMythical personas. I'm a big fan of bold sketch-work and engaging with a community of similar explorers! 

5. Pankaja: Over the past few months through Colomboscope workshops and other social events, I have met fascinating people and developed new perspectives, both in my artistic practice and in how I approach my life. I believe the upcoming festival will help me do more of the same and I hope I can spark ideas of new possibilities in others as they have done for me. 
Roshan: I’ve been an enthusiastic visitor to Colomboscope for the past few years and this time, with encouragement from Pankaja and support from other artists, I'm excited to collaborate and contribute. There is an entire forest of extremely cool creative visions built by my contemporaries, and I'd love to venture in and learn. 

We share a strong belief in the idea that our work must speak for itself; without the aid of an artist’s statement or wall text. We hope we are successful in this with our installation at Colomboscope this year and we’d love to hear from visitors what they've taken away from or felt within the space at Ecophora.

Colomboscope 2024 will take place 19 – 28 January. For more details and information on the lineup visit https://www.colomboscope.lk/ 



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