They started off as designers, met at a design school, got married, took up art and are now going beyond the traditional form of art.
Chinthaka Thenuwara and Poornima Jayasinghe Thenuwara are artistes of a unique kind. They focus on interactive art, bringing the public in direct contact with what’s on display.
Poornima says they wanted to break away from traditional gallery type art and make it more interactive with the public.
“We let the people experience our art. So they interpret it the way they want. And I think they enjoy it. We made art fun through interaction so people go back home with better memories,” she said.
Chinthaka and Poornima took part in the Colombo Art Biennale last year and their creations drew praise from the public including Annoushka Hemple, the founder and Director of the Colombo Art Biennale.
“She said it was the first time she saw humor in art in Sri Lanka. She felt we had broken off from the usual form of art and we were thrilled and at the same time humbled by her words of encouragement,” Poornima said.
Chinthaka, a qualified photographer, said they even use photography in their art and turn it into much more than something displayed on the wall.
“We link photographs with other forms of visual art,” he said.
Chinthaka had a love for art at a very young age and curiosity saw him take it to another level from designing to drawing and then photography.
As for Poornima, well she says she never dreamt of becoming an artiste and it was something that came naturally.
“I don’t like to label myself as an artist. There are people who get involved in art to make a name for themselves in society and then there are those who get recognized for their natural talent as time takes it course. I guess I fall into the second category,” she said.
Chinthaka recalls how he met Poornima for the first time at a design school. Their ideas clicked and their relationship got stronger day by day.
“We started interior designing and then art. Later it moved into visual art, paintings and so on. It all started as a hobby but now it has become our profession. We enjoy what we do and when you enjoy something it’s never seen as work,” Poornima adds.
Chinthaka says he gets inspired by other artistes and uses that inspiration in his own creations and style while Poornima gets inspired by her day to day surroundings.
As for the future, Chinthaka and Poornima want to focus more on CoCA (Collective of Contemporary Artists) and collaborate with international artistes on the project.
Chinthaka and Poornima are active committee members of COCA and through it they also hope to open a center where local artistes can meet and interact.
Chinthaka is a versatile artist who dreams for a living. His forte is Photography. He dreams not only for himself but makes the dreams of others materialise.
Originating from a family of talented artists and designers he was exposed to not one, but diverse forms of art at a very tender age.
He has experience in painting, Interior design and photography in various continents ranging from Asia to Europe and his work is well received globally.
His Conceptual and commercial photographs has won him multiple awards internationally and locally.
Now, as a visiting lecturer at the University of Moratuwa, he lecturers photography for advertising and technical purposes to the final year students who are reading for a degree in Graphic Design while rendering his services as a consultant interior and graphic designer, photographer and artist for internationally renowned organisations.
Chinthaka is one of the main icons who created a perceptible new approach to the art of photography which has created an ideological shift in the
photography field in Sri Lanka.
He is also the co-founder of “Click” CThenuwara School of Photography which takes a hands-on approach to teaching armature and professional photographers the technique, aesthetics and conceptualization skills needed to create a cohesive body of work that demonstrates their personal signature in every image.
Poornima is a fused combination of artist, designer and art education specialist.
Currently the Head of Art at the BritishSchoolin Colombo, she heads the International Baccalaureate programme in Visual Arts.
She has emerged in the international arena in the last few years as a major artist working in the media of painting, photography, mixed media, installation, object art, graphic and interior design.
Poornima has won many awards for her paintings, digital art and conceptual photography.
Her work has been recognised and acclaimed by international groups of contemporary artists.
She also functions as a free-lance artist, photographer interior and graphic designer for a selected, elite client tale in Europe, Asia and Australia. (Colombo Gazette)