Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DRIFTing in from the street

With more free time on my hands, I took the opportunity to paint a mural for my friends over at DRIFT.

They renovated this old building and turned it into a bed and breakfast just off of Galle road in downtown Colombo. These guys have a real appreciation for art and style; they also designed the interior space themselves. I had already worked on the logo; when they asked me to paint a mural on the outside wall leading up to the entrance of their guesthouse; I could not refuse.

This had to be something that could be noticed from the street and draw people into the alley way and into the courtyard.

Tourist normally don't spend too much time in Colombo city. These travellers are in transit when they come to the city. The mural illustrate's the feeling of being comfortably taken from one place to another.

That is when I came up with the idea of painting a person floating along the wall, slowly shedding his work clothes. The two ends of the mural are different. The side closest to the street entrance, has basic black and white colours and formal clothing. Opposite, the side closest to the guesthouse entrance, has unnatural colours and bohemian clothing.

This is one of the biggest and challenging pieces I've done.

this photo via Ravi

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Mini-me wants to go for a swim

With the surf season over, I've been getting sick and down. Surfing has become a huge part of my well-being and without it I'm left a little unbalanced. Fortunately, the monsoon winds calmed down enough this weekend for us to catch a few waves and enjoy the ocean. It was a well needed and fully appreciated play break.

I finished this mural that same weekend. It was painted for this year's Pettah Interchange party happening in the old Rio Hotel/Theatre. The place was bombed in the 80s and has been left practically untouched since. In the past two years it has become a curiosity and playing ground for party promoters, theatre groups, artist collectives and other such misfits.

With the help of my lovely wife, we painted this strange man holding a mini-me version of himself. The mural faces the empty outdoor pool in the Rio Theatre courtyard - this is were the party will be held.

Inspired by my fortunate surf session, I decided to portray the mini-me in us all; the part of us that needs to go out and play everyone once and while or as often as possible. The character was painted looking back at where the DJ decks will be at the party and the mini-me was painted looking out into the empty pool where the Bar will be. Where to go first?...


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"Let them have their mouths"

Before Rah and Celeste left Sri Lanka I help them paint a mural for their Pangea Sea Walls project.

Manta Rays, gentle giants of the deep, are one of the ocean's largest yet least-understood species of fish. Due to the recent popularization of their gills in Chinese medicine, manta rays are being slaughtered in such unsustainable numbers that their very existence is now threatened with extinction.

Sri Lanka currently ranks within the top-three fisheries of manta rays in the world, taking an estimated 40%-50% of the global catch for the Chinese market. 

Sea Walls - Murals for Oceans: Sri Lanka X Manta Rays from PangeaSeed on Vimeo.

Pisu Pusa at The Pettah Interchange Party

The guys organiser for the Pettah Interchange Party got permission to paint inside the old market in Pettah. I painted this very large street cat. When I went to the market the night before the party, the place was littered with bedraggled street cats. Some of them watched me suspiciously as I painted market stall shutter doors. When they left the rats came out...

Sinhala Typography - Work in progress

Last year I wrote a proposal for a Sinhala typography research project. The aim of this project was to develop local typography and orthography. My hope is this will benefit the design community and revitalise indigenous lettering. Since then, the students and I have been working with different local and international professionals, through research workshops to understand the anatomy of the sinhala characters. The project seems to keep getting bigger as new information is discovered.

One person in particular who I have had the pleasure of working with, is typography Prof. Timothy Donaldson from Falmouth University.

Tim flew to Lanka a few months ago, and directed a series of workshops with the graphic design students. His insight, knowledge and experience was inspiring and helpful. He has written a remarkable typography book called 'Shapes For Sounds'.

Not to long ago, he wrote an article the project for Eye Magazine, called 'Sinhala's Voluptuous Letters'.

On the last day Tim scribed the answers to a questionnaire we had given out to different people. The subject of the questionnaire was Sinhala Typography. This was intended to see how people within the design community felt about the current state of Sinhala typography. I photographed the performance and edited the +1000 photos into a stop motion. The music is by a local band called Elephant Foot.

More to come... Student work coming up next...

Jazz writing: questionnaire dances with red boxes from Alain Parizeau on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

“If everyone is a product of this society, who will say the things that need to be said, and do the things that need to be done, without compromise? Truth will never start out popular in a world more concerned with marketability than righteousness.”
Lauryn Hill