With the support of Nations Trust Bank Private Banking, Saskia Fernando Gallery hosted the third event of the #SupportLocalArt Talk series: The Collector. Moderated by Saskia Ferando, the online panel discussion featured a diverse set of Sri Lankan art collectors to discuss what drives them to collect art and the different styles in which they approach an art piece.
Sanjaya Senarath, Chief Marketing Officer at Nations Trust Bank commented on Private Banking being a longstanding supporter of the local art industry. “We’ve been able to champion various art institutions and their events, including Sri Lanka’s Annual Kala Pola. This talk series hosted by Saskia Fernando Gallery has enabled the upliftment for art patrons by giving them a platform to share their stories, thoughts and positive ideas even amidst uncertain times. We look forward to continue expanding our portfolio of partners in the art fraternity, and in turn provide our clients with exclusive experiences to enrich their passion for art.”
As an avid art supporter who has an emotional connection with his collections, Lahiru Pathmalal, Director of e-Commerce – Komar and former board member of People’s Bank, loves building relationships with gallerists and artists. He highlighted how important it is to buy contemporary art to support living, working, artists. “Creators of art have this incredible ability to uplift our lives and our society, which is why it’s important to see artists as equals in the journey of collecting, and it is our responsibility to continue supporting them.”
Niloo Jayatilake, Chief Executive Officer and Director of Softlogic Invest, the asset management arm of the Softlogic Group, brought in a unique perspective as a collector working in investments. Discussing the three main factors that she takes into consideration when purchasing art, “In order to add value and harness your wealth in a safe manner, you need to always look for signatures on the artwork, buy through a reputed gallery for authenticity, thereby reducing the risk. Finally, identify and buy from artists that have true potential to keep growing,” she said.
Principal Architect of CDA Associates and Trustee of the Geoffrey Bawa Trust and Lunuganga Trust, Chamika De Alwis shared insights into how his passion as an art collector has influenced his work as an Architect. “Art, music, dance, theatre are things that inculcate a different perspective of how we see and appreciate the world. The marriage of art and architecture is one of those things that coexists, and we’ve already seen the greatest example of this in Sri Lanka through the revolutionary work of Geoffrey Bawa.”
Sharing her journey as a collector was Samaadhi Weerasinghe, Director of Business Development for Oryx Benodar and founder of the clothing brand, ANUK. She spoke of how her curiosity and inquisitiveness drove her from buying art to fill empty spaces in the walls of her parents’ home to understanding the true value of the heavy price behind art works. “After visiting more and more exhibitions and constantly questioning pieces of art, I’ve found appreciation and respect for artists because of how long it takes for them to build a collection – the step by step thought processes which starts from creating a story for the art until it’s time to showcase the work at the exhibition.”
Those interested in watching the third discussion of the #SupportLocalArt Talk Series can visit www.saskiafernandogallery.com/video/38-supportlocalart-talk-the-collector-the-collector/.
The first session of this virtual talk series powered by Nations Trust Bank Private Banking featured four of Sri Lanka’s most prominent art patrons – Anojie Amerasinghe, Ajit Gunawardene, Nadija Tambiah, and Udayshanth Fernando – to discuss the varied forms of art patronage alongside their unique experiences and projects, from the corporate to the individual patron. Sharing their unique experiences in preserving and nurturing modern and contemporary art in Sri Lanka and defining the role of a curator at the second phase of the talk series – ‘The Curator’ – were Sandev Handy, Hasini Haputhanthri, Sharmini Pereira and Shayari de Silva.