To mark the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (2 Oct), which is also observed as SAARC Non-Violence Day and International Non-Violence Day, the SAARC Cultural Centre organized an art competition among school children in Sri Lanka. This Art Competition was aimed at creating awareness on the need to revive and inspire peace, tolerance, non-discrimination, co-existence, non-violence and respect for each other in our societies.
The paintings were submitted by two age groups; 10 years to 13 (Junior Category) and 14 years to 18 (Senior Category) and were based on two quotations of Mahatma Gandhi highlighting his principles of non-violence viz.,
“The good man is the friend of all living things”- Junior Category and
“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another” – Senior Category
There was an overwhelming response to the call for entries and over 500 entries from schools from all over Sri Lanka were received. The winning paintings were selected by a panel of judges from the University of Visual and Performing Arts, Sri Lanka. The judges were Dr. Priyantha Udagedara – Head, Department of Textile and Wearable Arts, Faculty of Visual Arts, Mr. Dumith Kulasekara – Head – Department of Painting and Mr. Jagath Ravindra – Head – Department of Multi-Disciplinary Design.
The Award Ceremony of the Art Competition coincided with the 34th SAARC Charter Day celebration on 8th December at the JAIC Hilton Colombo Residencies and Cash Prizes were awarded for the first, second and third places in both categories. The winners received their certificates and cash prizes from the Chief Guest, Mrs. Darshana Senanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Culture, Sri Lanka and from Mrs. Renuka Ekanayake, Director of the SAARC Cultural Centre.
SAARC Non-Violence Day Art Competition Winners
Junior Category (10 to 13 years)
Mr. D.A. Pubudy Madusanka (12 years) of President’s College, Sri Jayawardhanapura, Kotte.
Citation – “The painting is an outstanding example of extremely consistency and expressiveness. Composition created in the painting strengthens its dramaturgy. Skilful use of colour is a testimony to the visual sensitivity of the message of the painting. It is an excellent example of the use of composition, colour and expression.”
Ms. A.M. Amra (11 years) of Badulla Tamil Girls’ Maha Vidyalayam, Badulla.
Citation – “The Painting is a playful precision of childhood dreams, underpinned by shining good humour, with each character of the composition painstakingly coloured with brilliant bright colour pallet. Skills of craftsmanship and creation of positive expression throughout the painting is outstanding.”
Ms. Sandali Adithya Samasundara (10 years) of Mahamaya Girls’ College, Kandy.
Citation – “While using bright colour pallet and figurative composition in a wonderful way to paint a sensitive event, the brilliant use of iconography helps to realise the artist’s vision of supportive and caring world. Every single motif has its own recognisable story.”
Senior Category (14 to 18 years)
Mr. K. Vidura Nishan (17 years) of Bamunugama Maha Vidyalaya, Horapavita, Matara.
Citation – “The painting is an outstanding example of creative expression. Composition is created with an understanding of contemporary issues. Skillful use of limited colour pallet is a testimony to the visual sensitivity of the message of the painting. It is an excellent example of innovative thinking.”
Ms. A.M. Aaisha (17 years) of Badulla Tamil Girls’ Maha Vidyalayam, Badulla.
Citation – “The Painting is a direct precision of social issues. The dramatic composition addresses the sensitive, social problem in an artistic manner, mixing the real and the surreal with a lot of ironic motifs. Skills of craftsmanship and creation of positive expression throughout the painting is outstanding.”
Ms. Shanthoshika Sangilignanam (16 years) Rambaikulam Girls’ Maha Vidyalayam National School, Vavuniya.
Citation – “Using a limited colour pallet and a figurative composition with a landscape in the background the painting conveys a sensitive truth. The motifs possess a strong cultural identity, combining reality and fictional styles. The painting is a good example of the use of composition, colour and expression.”